This is mismanagement in our words still going on and it is certainly financial irresponsibility.

16 Feb This is mismanagement in our words still going on and it is certainly financial irresponsibility.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Senator Joe Abruzzo
12300 Forest Hill Boulevard
Suite 200
Wellington, FL 33414-5785

CC: Commissioner Martin Kiar
Broward County Governmental Center
115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 417
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Commissioner Stacy Ritter
Broward County Governmental Center
115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 417
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

via email

RE: A Retort of the Lauderdale Lakes, FL response

The Honorable Senator Abruzzo:

The City of Lauderdale Lakes has reached out to their lobbyist Ron Book with some talking points – reasons why you shouldn’t fire off an audit.

The folks really really really really don’t want an audit.  What did Shakespeare say –“They f***ing whine too much” or words to that effect.

Anyway, here’s some rebuttal to Team Lauderdale Lakes talking points factual inaccuracies.

***

City’s Use of CRA Funds:

Used $2.5 million of CRA funds in 2010- three City employees who played a possible role were gone? That is the answer?

Jon Allen, was the Assistant City Manager, now City Manage is still there. CRA Chair was still there. Used $2.5M to pay BSO-all were involved. Still had to borrow $9.2M from County to pay BSO. Still using CRA dollars to pay for city expenses.

Did not implement all corrective actions from the OIG Report and CRA Forensic Audit.

From OIG Report

  • Where is the Internal auditor reporting to the Commission,
  • Why are there still transfers from fund with deficit balances in both 2012 and 2013 budgets,
  • Where are the correct financial reports being presented to the Commission,
  • Why are special assessment fees still being utilized improperly,
  • What about increasing stormwater fees by 160% and fire fees by 30%?
  • What about CRA paying salaries of city employees?

City/CRA Forbearance Agreement 

How can a forbearance agreement be legal to cover the use of CRA money for city operating expenses? The repayment agreement is a balloon payment in year 7- already extended once- identified in long range plan to extend it till 20 years.

And they are using CRA dollars for city expenses.

What about the CRA paying for properties that benefit the city- Educational and Cultural Center, Ireland property?

Rollover of Funds and Waiver on Interest

Fund Balance- in 2012 and 2013, the CRA fund balance was $3.4M. The CRA budget did not include this- only $200k. Does not meet requirements of FS 163.A look at the financial statements and adopted budgets will show this. This a fact- check it out on the City’s website!

Believe there is record of the CRA waiving interest and late payment penalties for the city for 2010, 2011, and 2012. Why is it that only the city gets waivers as the three paying agencies do not get that luxury? Why is the city a repeat offender and given special treatment.

Fund Balance

Repeat from above- Fund Balance- in 2012 and 2013, the CRA fund balance was $3.4 million. The CRA budget did not include this- only $200k. Does not meet requirements of FS 163. A look at the financial statements and adopted budgets will show this. This a fact- check it out on the City’s website!  

Refunds are due to the paying agencies as outlined in FS 163- read the statute!

Financial Irresponsibility and Mismanagement

Long range financial plan-calls for refinancing the CRA debt out to 20 years, refinancing BSO debt out to 20 years, refinancing all other debt, and selling off city assets. This plan was presented to Broward County- look at it.

There were other CRA abuses identified-paying City employees from CRA, using $3.2 million in CRA money to build the Educational Cultural Center, paying $1.6M for Ireland property (over appraisal amount) to build a garden, questionable incentives to private investors, travel for CRA Board and staff, donations to questionable groups. Does not mention these.

The Sep. 11 letter from LAC- looked at the audited results of 2010, 2011 was not available at that time, and only made comments that they would have to look at 2012 later to make any comments.

This was not an audit.

***

This is mismanagement in our words still going on and it is certainly financial irresponsibility.

Yet.

Happy hunting;

Talking Point – Response to S. Ritter Correspondence by

Chaz Stevens

Chaz Stevens

Professional Troublemaker
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