Comments to the Town Council

After reviewing the recent state auditor report on the City of Maywood, I would remind the Town Council you are not insulated from personal liability when you fail properly to exercise your “fiduciary duties.” Concerned citizens have pointed out numerous problems, errors, omissions, and failures in various financial reports, which nevertheless have gained unanimous council approval with neither discussion nor correction.

The problems revealed in the latest comprehensive annual financial and auditor reports are no surprise to concerned citizens. Even so, problems with the contracting practices of the town are not mentioned. Neither are irregularities with the Town auditor, or any possible violations of SEC regulations arising therefrom.

Al Rice has identified $18,931,951 that seem to be missing. There seems to be no account with these funds, and they haven’t been reported on the monthly Treasurer’s Report. Is this just an imaginary figure being reported to the state to avoid the raising red flags?

In case you’re thinking that the $18.9 million are somehow Redevelopment Agency funds, page 29 shows both the Successor Agency and the RDA have a combined total of $21,881,945 in cash and investments, which is exactly the same amount listed on page 41 under Cash and Investments in the statement of Fiduciary Net Position. As of June 30, 2017, however, the ending balance of the RDA was basically zero and the Successor Agency was negative $40,616,862. So how could they have had $18.9 million in cash and investments in a financial institution on that same day? Again, where are these funds on deposit, as implied on page 42, and if they are gone, what happened to them?

In two of former Assistant Town Manager Marc Puckett’s positions, audits performed after his departure revealed errors that cost those municipalities millions of dollars. I would hope that the Town is having a forensic audit performed by a truly independent auditor who will really drill down to determine if Apple Valley shares the same sad fate as these other cities, and is taking steps to ensure that the manifold buffooneries we saw coming from Mr. Puckett’s office are a thing of the past.

Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA