Park District Finances & Financing

Meeting minutes for the September 10, 2009 Park Board “study session” included a presentation of the Independent Auditor’s Report of the FY 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

[Brian LeFevre of Sikich, LLP] reported that both the District’s Golf Course and Hopkins enterprise funds were in a negative working capital position requiring them to borrow cash from other District funds.

LeFevre noted that these deficits could affect the wellness of other funds.

Commissioner Mason inquired how the losses compared to last year. LeFevre stated that they were less than last year, but recommended that the District review and measure the full operating cost of the enterprise funds to manage expenses.

LeFevre explained that due to the decline in market value, additional contributions will be required of the District to the IMRF Fund in the next few years. In FY 2009, funds were transferred to the IMRF Fund from the General Fund to place it back in balance. [Emphasis added.]

A bit later in the program, Aquatics Center financing options were discussed. Continue reading Park District Finances & Financing

Council Watch, 6/10/08

About that $485,000 rabbit. Refuse Fund info can be found both in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and on the proposed budget pages plain as day. However, before it was revealed just what the plans for it were, there was really no way of knowing what it meant. Nobody found line-items for the truck and trommel, I suppose because they were still saving for them, so if you are looking at that fund for only one budget year you would naturally assume that the fund was allocated throughout Public Works. You really have to look at several years’ worth of budgets and/or CAFRs to see that they were building up the Refuse Fund.

So what’s missing is the mechanism for calling attention to such a “savings plan.” We thought such a mechanism would be called “city manager” or “assistant city manager” but since the mechanism failed to pull the rabbit out onto the table at the first peep of fiscal crisis, we know this is not sufficient.

To be very clear on this: I consider this a major failure and, if conscientiously hidden, malfeasance. That is not the same as illegal. There are a heck of a lot of things that aren’t illegal but still demonstrate incompetence and/or violate the public trust. Question: When does somebody get fired? Continue reading Council Watch, 6/10/08

Council Watch, 6/9/08

A last-minute change to the regular City Council Meeting agenda, prompted by the city manager, put the waste-collection fee ordinance ahead of considerations for utility tax, rate and fee hikes. At that point, Public Works Director Rick Monas pulled a rabbit out of his hat. Turns out the Refuse Fund has about $485,000 that they’ve been saving up for a couple pieces of equipment but don’t need them after all, so City Council could decide to put the windfall where needed elsewhere.

I found the Refuse Fund in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs, pronounced Kay-fers). In the CAFR for end of FY 2007 (June 30), the “rabbit” was $373,083. That would have been nice to know 6 months ago, when it was probably about $400,000, instead of their yelling “Budget Crisis–layoffs–layoffs–layoffs!” I mean, doesn’t it make you wonder how many more “rabbits” are in there? Continue reading Council Watch, 6/9/08