COUNCIL REQUIRES PRIOR LEAVE APPROVAL AND TRAVEL VOUCHER RESOLUTION FOR OUR TOWN MANAGER

You will recall the events which resulted in two resignations at the Hamilton County Development Authority.  And because these events are similar in nature to what we have seen with unexplained absences of our Town Manager whether for a day, a week or a number of hours, the Town of White Springs does not wish to have the same difficulties.  As a result, Mayor Miller introduced a plan to include a resolution whereby the Town Manager must receive authorization for leave or sick leave from the Town Council as well as information relating to any Travel reimbursement.

This was Then at the HCDA  (Doesn’t it remind you of Tebo taking every Friday off on her first two years, and then whole weeks and late Mondays?)

The events consisting of a 2017 annual audit and a financial report of May 2019 which transpired at the Hamilton County Development Authority resulted in the former executive director’ and the assistant executive director’s resignations
According to the financial statements report in the HCDA’s audit by Kenneth M. Daniels, there were certain deficiencies in internal control that were identified, that Daniels considered to be a “significant deficiency.”  According to the audit, the Executive Director received $7,487 in excess of the established amount for her salary while the Assistant received an additional $3,053.
In addition to the excess wages, there were also findings in the audit of failure to submit changes in annual and sick leave to the appropriate level of management on a monthly basis. The report states that there was no approval by an HCDA board member for the executive director or the executive director for the staff assistant, with no documentation noting hours taken and dates provided.
The report also had findings of questionable costs that totaled $1,045, as well as reimbursements made for amounts not supported by invoicing. Reimbursements made without documentation and support by invoice falls within the failure to comply with Florida Statutes 112.061. The audit also noted that a bonus had been awarded but without proper documentation by the board and had not been retained or indicated in the board’s minutes, which also fails to comply with Florida Statutes 214.425.
As stated in the report, Florida Statutes 218.32(1)(d) requires that “each local government entity that is required to provide for an audit under s.218.39(1) must submit a copy of the audit report and annual financial report to the department (of Financial Services) within 45 days after the completion of the audit, but no later than 9 months after the end of the fiscal year.” The audit report also states that the HCDA’s annual audit and annual financial report was not completed in accordance with the above referenced statutes for the year ending Sept. 30, 2017.
Per the report, there were 21 instances in which invoices were not date stamped and 26 instances in which disbursements were not supported by invoice or approval in minutes. In the report, Daniels said 30 out of the 279 disbursements by the HCDA were tested, totaling in $32,501. This falls into failure to comply with Florida Statutes 218.74, without ensuring that disbursements are appropriate.
In response to the audit findings, the Executive Director acknowledged that the audit was late but that the 2017-18 audit was to be filed on time, by June 30.
“While payroll was made early, no actual over-payment of funds was made,” The Director said, adding the lack of date stamps on invoices was an oversight. “The Executive Director has authority to approve any payment of $1,000 or less as well as any item approved through the budget. Any other expenses or invoices were approved by the board.
“Any receipts or documentation not included would be an oversight. It is sometimes difficult or impossible to obtain receipts for tolls, tips, meters, parking and related expenses but all expenses are detailed and documented.”
The Executive Director added that the Development Authority disputed the finding in regards to employee bonuses. She said there are multiple page long reports in regards to achievements for herself and her assistant for the board to review and approve prior to issuance of the bonus, to which, “copies of both reports are on file and available.”

 

That was then and this is now:

Ms. Tebo became very angered stipulating that Mayor Miller was trying to micromanage her.  Ms. Tebo said there has never been a problem and Mr. Daniels has randomly gone through payroll and the reporting of leave and Travel reimbursements.   Ms. Tebo states that Pam Tomlinson has tracked Ms. Tebo’s leave and that any Council Member could approve such time off.  In fact Spencer Lofton signed a couple of forms.   I love that Ms. Tebo mentions any councilor will and can approve her time off.  It is like she goes from one doctor to another in Orlando seeking the pills she requires.  That way she never needs to seek rejection.

 

I can tell you that more than one member of the public checks whether Ms. Tebo is in the office, when she shows up, if at all and the information is communicated among many so more than one person may have this information and it can be verified by phone or vehicle.   These two (Tebo and Tomlinson) are always absent in one manner or another but mainly Ms. Tebo has taken more time off than any manager ever has in the past, possibly because of her court cases which isn’t our problem especially since she is being paid more than any manager we have hired but does less and spends less time in White Springs..

 

Spencer Lofton was upset and felt that Stacy was being picked on but the truth of the matter is Stacy Tebo has caused our Town to lose a tremendous amount of money; whether the River’s case of almost $26,000 without council approval; Trying to remove Helen Miller from her council seat and the town paying $7,500 and without contract, Tebo’s chosen Lawyer and Friend charged the town some $19,000 and Tebo should have paid the balance or should have received a 1099 for it because it was not granted by the Council.  Then there is the matter of all of her time off and her contract stipulates she must comply with the personnel manual.  But that has not happened and she has breached her contract in more ways than one, spending money, securing grants knowing we do not have the money for our portion of the grant, etc.  Now we have the community Center situation whereby the Citizens were promised a Hurricane Proof Shelter which will cost $75,000-100,000 more than the $400,000 that will be left after paying engineers and attorneys out of the $600,000 grant.  Where are we getting that money?  Good question.  We have so many loans now that just one more may send us into bankruptcy  like it did once before.  Welcome Village of White Springs.

 

When Ms. Tebo complained and Spencer Lofton showed his anger about what was being done, and that what happened at the HCDA did not involve Ms. Tebo, Tom Moore stipulated there were  complaints made by Mr. Daniels about how Ms. Tebo handled certain things but he did not have it in his possession.  This angered Ms. Tebo even more.  Then our Town Attorney explained to Ms. Tebo and the Council and Public, that such resolutions are in place with some municipalities and not with others.   It was decided that Attorney Logan would place together a resolution with the appropriate leave and Travel reimbursement wording and bring it back for approval.   The motion was made for a resolution to be completed by Town Attorney Meagan Logan which passed with a 3-2 vote with Brown and Lofton objecting.

 

Karin for the blog

It has been stated by Mayor Miller and Vice Mayor McKenzie that the Town of White Springs has no Policy or Practice on Approving Leave and Travel.   It is time that this is done.

Karin for the blog

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