3/12/2015 at 1:10 pm
Thanks for the effort, but I was not making a public records request. The accounting I was asking for from Manager Harden was much more generic and would probably not be evident from financial records alone. For example, a drainage crew mowing medians would still show as a drainage expense unless someone changed the way the expense was entered.
Money that was collected for drainage was used for other things and this fact has implications beyond whether the books balance at years end. How will the City’s NPDES M4S permit be affected? Were any state or federal laws broken? How does the City explain to some of the big commercial payers into the drainage fund that they weren’t buying what was advertised?
On 3/11/2015 10:31 AM, Fenwick, Robin wrote:
Tracey said she can run reports from the system of the multiple funds but they are typically not intuitive so they may not answer your question directly. We do not have any records that will answer it directly.
If you’d like copies of the reports, let me know and I’ll have her pull them.
ROBIN L. FENWICK, CMC
CITY OF PORT ORANGE
1000 City Center Circle
Port Orange, FL 32129
Description: Description: PO email
Dictionary definition of Misappropriation = In criminal law, misappropriation is the intentional, illegal use of funds of another person for unauthorized purpose, particularly by a public official, by any person with a responsibility to care for and protect another’s assets (a fiduciary duty). It is a felony, a crime punishable by a prison sentence [editors note].
Dear Manager Harden,
My wife and I, like most owners of improved residential property in the City of Port Orange, pay a yearly stormwater drainage utility fee. That fee is $99.00 per year and consists of a $36.00 capital facilities charge with the balance of the fee earmarked for operations. If I understand the current rate structure correctly, commercial property owners pay amounts based on equivalent residential units with 3050 square feet of impervious area equal to one residential unit.
The last two Stormwater Maintenance Workshops have made it clear that over the last three to five years, or longer, the City’s ditch and culvert maintenance has fallen far behind schedule. This has reportedly been due to a reduction in personnel brought on by the Great Recession and/or the necessity of using personnel normally involved in ditch maintenance for routine lawn mowing. Also clear from the Workshops is that the Stormwater Fund does not have enough money to mount an intensive catch-up campaign and more revenue will be required to get us back on schedule. One of the suggestions for additional revenue was to increase the yearly stormwater utility fee.
As you are no doubt aware, Port Orange’s Code of Ordinances states that “all stormwater drainage utility fees collected by the city shall be paid into an enterprise fund which is hereby created, to be known as the stormwater management fund. Such fund shall be used for the purpose of paying the cost of stormwater drainage facilities to be constructed in the various storm drainage basins and paying the costs of operation, administration and maintenance of the stormwater drainage facilities of the city,” and that “the fees and charges paid shall not be used for general or other governmental or proprietary purposes of the city, except to pay for the equitable share of the cost of accounting, management and government thereof.” Drainage fees have certainly not decreased over the past several years and since those fees can’t be used for other purposes, such as routine lawn mowing, the obvious question is what happened to the money that we saved by personnel reductions? If drainage fees were used for other purposes, who authorized the expenditures? It seems that even City Council would have to change the ordinance quoted above to authorize such expenditures.
Can you please provide us with an accounting of income and expenditures during the years that maintenance declined, paying special attention to those expenditures not related to stormwater management and to who authorized those expenditures?
618 Ruth St
Port Orange, FL 32127