In a 15 minute special council meeting this afternoon, and with another item on the agenda you are being asked to establish an new “Accounting Manager’ position. I would urge caution in considering this request as
- The need for this position has not been demonstrated.
- The requisite qualifications and job duties for this position have been established. .
- The massive reorganization this position presupposes have not been considered by anyone beyond the Manager and CFO.
- The need, qualifications, duties, and reorganization has not been referred to the ABAB for its recommendations as was promised.
This proposal is being made by a Manager with one foot out the door and a CFO who has been consistently untruthful regarding the ability and performance of his department. That performance has been demonstrated to be horribly incompetent for the past decade each and every time an audit or review window has been opened on that department.
The turmoil that has ensnarled other departments as dedicated hard working employees have served notice they will no longer serve under ICMA retreads and others who owe their longevity to a decades old un-stated policy of back room cronyism and manipulation can reasonably be expected to spread to Finance. When that happens and when the good people in Finance start spilling the beans as what is really going on in that department it is more than reasonable to expect that the current CFO will be its first causality.
It is for that reason I would encourage you to have the Assistant Manager in conjunction with the ABAB begin establishing the qualifications and abilities desired in a new CFO.
The band aid solution Manager Kisela is offering in the form of a new ’Accounting Manager’ position is designed to mask personality issues with the Comptroller and incompetence issues with the CFO. Manager Kisela is never going to offer a real solution to the problem in finance. To do so would undermine the whole ICMA paradigm of placing incompetents in responsible positions and then insisting everything is OK and if that assertion is challenged insist that everything is getting better. We all know everything in Finance is not OK and it is not getting better.
The root problem in Finance is the inability of the Comptroller and CFO to perform competently throughout the accounting cycle which may be thought of as Budgeting, Bookkeeping, and Financial Reporting with generous attention to adequate internal controls throughout.
That inability stems from both personality and competence shortcomings. ( Ironically the personality issue which is easily confirmed in conversation with former finance employees who were lucky enough to escape to other City departments is acknowledged without ever being stated in the revised organizational chart where all personnel save one unlucky accountant are no longer reporting to the Comptroller.)
Finance is currently operating as a circle of confusion and redundancy.
This was demonstrated at the Jan 2014 ABAB meeting where it was explained by staff – that payroll which is a weekly production in Port Orange is touched by the Manager or Asst Mgr, and by every single Department head or Asst Dept head in the City before it is further processed to varying degrees by Jamie, Bridgett, Lori, Rose and Stella.
Creating a new position without proper consideration and without addressing the root problem will do little more than expand that circle.
Port Orange taxpayers pay their CFO and Comptroller $ 142,832 and $98,522 respectively. For what I consider to be overly generous compensation they deserve at a minimum fully credentialed individuals with demonstrated ability who are willing and wanting to make Port Orange their home. Their real home, Not commute from Palm Coast as does the Comptroller, and certainly not just rent some apartment Monday thru Thursday as does the CFO.
To burden taxpayers with yet another new position under these circumstances
- Without more properly defining the desired qualifications and abilities for the CFO.
- And without looking past the current problems that have been exacerbated by the CFO’s inability to retain or recruit staff capable of filling existing positions
- AND without proper consideration as to whether the size of Port Orange finance warrants the additional costs associated with a two track accounting function at the Comptroller level, is not any example of responsible Council action that I would care to endorse.