Letter to the San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller re: The Town of Apple Valley’s Administration Budget submission for 2021-22 (Rice)

The TOAV Administration Budget submission again has errors in its Administration Budget document.

Why does the Administration Budget have obvious errors in its Staff Job Titles again as has occurred in every annual submission to the O/S Board? This situation may not be important to the Board members, but how can your staff auditors correctly reconcile the payments if the job titles are wrong — this a town and not a city etc. Why is this a continuous problem? This document was reviewed by the Director of Government Services (previously called Town Clerk), Town Manager, Town Attorney, and Town Council prior to submission to your staff and O/S Board. Last year, one of the O/S Board members asked if these job titles were errors and the Director of Finance replied “yes” in public. Who cares in the TOAV? They should be required to present correct documents, particularly when they have been told to do so. For your information, I called and reported additional errors in this document prior to the Town Council meeting and the several cells in the spreadsheet were corrected.

Maybe the very short-tenured Town Finance staff along with using a contractor unfamiliar with the job titles or what your staff told them is the reason, but it remains embarrassing at best on the surface.

If the work description for consultants means what it states, then the contractor is not a consultant, but a contractor doing all of the process work. So then, Town Staff are basically handing off the documents to each other for the twice-a-year pass-through payments from the County Treasurer to the Bond Trustees and the Resolutions are updated with minor changes. Therefore, the hours presented are inflated, and even though the TOAV may seek to have a cushion for unanticipated costs this is only a weak basis.

Is the Town continuing to have the contractor look for the $15 million in missing documents that the Department of Finance denied for another year?

As a taxpayer, I really appreciate your work and that of your staff.

Al Rice, Apple Valley