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Section A: General News


Audit calls attention to financial frailties




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Wilson County News
June 6, 2012 | 2,002 views | 11 comments

FLORESVILLE -- “City management and those charged with governance should monitor the city’s financial position and how actual operations are comparing to the budget,” according to an audit report submitted to the Floresville City Council by Patricia Wagner of New Braunfels-based Holtman Wagner & Co., LLP. (See audit report: http://wilsoncountynews.com/documents/floresville093011auditedstatements.pdf)

Wagner read excerpts of her report of fiscal year 2011 before the council at its May 31 special meeting. The report cited numerous areas of concern, including accounts that were not routinely reconciled, which resulted in a $166,385 deficit for the city’s general fund on Sept. 30, 2011.

Responses that accompany the findings of the report indicate that the city is correcting all issues. A copy of the report is available at www.wilsoncountynews.com (see PDF to report below), and will be made available at the city’s website. Some of the material weaknesses cited include:

•Accounting structure: The city did not establish separate funds for street maintenance tax, state forfeitures, court technology, security, and child safety as required by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board

•Bank accounts and transaction processing: Bank accounts were not reconciled; the reconciliation process and the Encode reports were not understood by the city staff. The city hired a contract accountant to prepare the reconciliations, which were completed in January 2012.

Significant deficiencies were cited related to segregation of duties for those handling cash and cash control. The city also does not have a written investment policy, as required by the Public Funds Investment Act.

Additionally, the Floresville 4A Corp. was not filing sales tax returns for concession items sold at the Lauro G. De Leon III Floresville Event Center. Returns for 2011 and previous years since have been filed.

A cover letter that accompanied the 69-page report indicated that the city was to blame for the audit not being completed in a more-timely manner. Audits of previous fiscal years usually were completed earlier. For instance, the fiscal year 2010 audit was completed in December 2010 and presented at the Jan. 13, 2011, council meeting.

“The audit was delayed to allow the city time to properly close its books,” according to the letter. “Had the city been ready to be audited in December 2011 as originally planned, the delay in issuing the report would not have been an issue.”

After receiving the report, Councilman John W. Guerrero made a motion to table its approval pending further review. At least four members of the audience voiced similar sentiments when addressing the council prior to the vote. But Guerrero’s motion died for a lack of a second.

“With all due respect, we hired a licensed CPA,” Mayor Daniel Tejada shouted. “And now we tell her we’re not going to approve the audit until we review it ourselves? None of us are CPAs!”

Councilman Sherry Martinez Castillo then moved to approve the report. Councilman Johnnie R. Gomez seconded the motion. The two, along with Councilman Jesse Christopher Flores, voted in favor, while Guerrero cast the single vote in opposition.

Also related to the city’s finances, Comptroller Tom Smith reviewed statements of the fiscal year 2012 budget as of March 31. Among the concerns Smith raised was the city’s administration budget, for which he said $463,000 was allocated and $365,000 already was spent. This includes “a tremendous amount on legal and professional fees.”

For professional fees, the city budgeted just $65,000, but has spent $160,000, Smith said. As for legal fees, the city already has spent $68,573 of the allocated $70,000. City Manager Andy Joslin blamed the inflated cash outlay on expenses related to “recalls, lawsuits, and extensive audits.”

“In a normal year, we’d spend $19,700 for audit work,” he said. “This extensive audit has been a lot more.”

The council voted unanimously to accept Smith’s report.

In other action, the council already is looking ahead to the 2013 fiscal year budget, approving a preliminary schedule that includes a citizens input session Tuesday, June 12. Four budget workshops, which the public is invited to attend, will follow.

Floresville City Council special meeting May 31: Floresville Mayor Daniel Tejada and councilmen Jesse Christopher Flores, Sherry Martinez Castillo, John W. Guerrero, and Johnnie R. Gomez, City Manager Andy Joslin, City Finance Director Fonda Kellner, Comptroller Tom Smith, City Attorney Louis Rosenberg, Constituent Liaison Sherry Pollok, and City Secretary Margaret Aranda.

 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Airborne Trooper  
wilson cty  
June 8, 2012 5:23am
 
In the Know, we would all love to so see Joslin not only fired, but as you say, run out of this town. He has been nothing but bring bad attention to the city. I dont believe we can recall them now as we are within 6 months ... More ›

 
In the know  
Floresville  
June 7, 2012 11:07pm
 
I believe the time has come for a forensic audit to be done. If not requested by this mayor, then the new mayor and the new city council members elected in November. (I still would like to have Gomez and Castillo recalled) ... More ›

 
Webmaster  
Floresville  
June 7, 2012 4:21pm
 
Video posted.

 
Tyra  
FloTown  
June 7, 2012 12:04pm
 
incompetence from the city manager and financial director... no way... it can't be... it was the COMPUTER GLITCH!! **duh like we did not know they were incompetent!!** Glad someone else pointed it out not us "outsiders".

 
Connect the Dots  
Floresville  
June 6, 2012 3:44pm
 
Guess they can't blame any deficiencies on other sources now, huh? Y'all probably should have tabled the audit approval so you could read exactly how bad it was going to make you look. I notice you've not been able to put ... More ›

 
newguyntown  
floresville  
June 6, 2012 3:34pm
 
The troubling part is the mingling of funds where street repairs are concerned, and the expenses year to date concerning legal and administrative costs. Adjustments need to be made now in this years budget. Attorneys fees may ... More ›

 
One Voice  
Floresville  
June 6, 2012 2:11pm
 
The law suits, lawyers and hiring of a PR Group came about because the city REFUSED to admit much less fix the budget. Then they hired a contract accountant to do Andy's job. Now, Andy wants to blame - the citizens of ... More ›

 
brite eyes  
flotown  
June 6, 2012 10:58am
 
Chris you hit the nail on the head. We did not have these kinds of problems when there was an experienced, qualified city manager.

 
Chris Johnson  
Floresville  
June 6, 2012 10:24am
 
I cant help but feel that if there were "qualified" people working for the city, we wouldnt be in this mess. It seems Joslin and many of the folks over at city hall are in over their heads. They can blame Jim Miller ... More ›

 
Jim Miller  
Floresville, TX  
June 6, 2012 10:06am
 
Thank you Will. I had been checking the City's web site where we were promised that it would be posted at the Special City Council Meeting on 5/31. Just checked. . . it's still not there. I guess they did not want the ... More ›

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