OpEd: Budget + Fiasco = Budget Fiasco
A Look Back at the Debacle with the 2012 Budget for Jonathan Allen, his Hello Kitty solar powered calculator toting Finance Director- Marie Elianor, and Lauderdale Lakes. How many violations of Florida Statute were there with the 2012 Budget? Also our search discovers a more glaring problem from 2011 that is yet unreported and adds more doubt on the accuracy of the 2011 Financial Statements.
[cleeng_content id="190331658" description="Why stop now? It's just getting interesting! Monthly subscriptions as low as $2.99!" price="1.99" referral="0.1"]Like most Cities we see from the calendar that L Lakes has the first 2013 Budget Public Hearings scheduled for September 13. We decided to look back at the L Lakes 2012 budget since this was JA’s plan- answer to all that was bad and would lead the clueless Commission in the right direction. Of course we knew that to be different since it ignored a 4.8m deficit in the General Fund entirely but he and his hand-picked FD are the experts from his motto- “Trust me, this is the right thing to do.”
[cleeng_content id="812558033" description="Why stop now? It\'s just getting interesting! Monthly subscriptions as low as .99!" price="1.99" t="article" referral="0.1"]First off- enclosed in the attachment is FS Section 166.241 that covers budgets and amending budgets. Highlighted is part (4c) requiring that budgets be amended by the same manner as the original budget for any upward or downward change in total appropriations. Also highlighted in (5) are posting to the website requirements.
Let’s see how they did for 2012.
First up- On October 25, 2011 the dynamic duo amended the budget by Resolution 2011-95 to add the building department to the budget since they forgot the department in the original budget.
Score- 2 violations here (4c)-required amending by ordinance and public hearing and comments since total budget went up and (5) since the amendment has not been posted to website.
Next try- Enacted Ordinance 2012-8 (with Public Hearing) to amend the 2012 budget for mid-year adjustments. This time they got the (4c) requirement right but wait- another violation of (5) with not posting the amended budget to the website.
Finally- on July 24, 2012 enacted Ordinance 2012-11 (with Public Hearing) to amend the 2012 budget again for Building Department. Again got the (4c) requirement right again but wait- another violation of (5) with not posting of the amended budget to the website.
We count 4 violations of FS 166.241 with the 2012 budget. Attached is a view of the L Lakes website and we do not see any amended budget for 2012 on the website. Look for yourself.
Maybe the 2012 budget was not so great after all.
But looking at the website, we discovered another major problem. There is not an adopted budget for FY 2011 much less an amended 2011 budget. This confirms what a Commissioner has been saying all along after numerous requests for an adopted budget book for 2011.
Final enclosure is a section from the 2011 Audited Financial Statements. Where did they get the Original and Final Budgets for these statements if there are no adopted or amended budgets for 2011? The City did have had a required public hearing and adopted a budget for 2011- where is the budget at? It is certainly not posted and the document does not exist from what a Commissioner states.
In previous posts, MAOS has already identified major issues with the 2011 Financial Statements related to cash. Over 4.6m in cash is shown at the end of 2011 while through public records requests, it shows that the City only had 1.4m in cash on hand at that time.
L Lakes 2012 Budget Miscues Atchmt