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IS IT TRUE that McGraw-Hill Companies publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and bonds? …that Standard & Poor’s is a division of McGraw-Hill?…that Standard & Poor’s is one of the “Big Three” credit rating agencies that gauges the “credit worthiness” of potential debtors, including municipalities such as the City of Evansville?…that a representative from Standard & Poor’s called the Civic Center today asking for a copy of the State Board of Accounts Audit that was recently released?… that, coincidentally, the State Board of Accounts audit found the City of Evansville has not reconciled its books for the last 21 months? …that the employee at the Civic Center referred Standard & Poor’s to none other than www.City-CountyObserver.com to find the link to the audit?…that the Civic Center employee asked the Standard & Poor’s representative if this audit was going to be used to determine the City of Evansville’s next bond rating?…that the Standard & Poor’s employee said “Yes” emphatically?… that the employee left his name and number with Standard & Poor’s and asked that they call him when they know when the next bond rating for the City of Evansville will be issued? …that this Civic Center employee, a trusted friend of the City-County Observer, said he will turn that information over to the CCO the minute he knows Evansville’s new bond rating is released?…that Mayor Lloyd Winnecke recently released a statement that “the city’s fiscal health is strong and affirmed by the bond rating of ‘AA-’ assigned by Standard & Poor’s?”…that the AA- rating means the city has a “very strong capacity to meet financial commitments,” according to Mayor Winnecke?…that we shall soon see?
IS IT TRUE that on Page 41 of the audit it is noted that the City of Evansville entered into a contract agreement with SMG, effective Jan. 1, 2006, to manage Roberts Stadium, Victory Theater, and Mesker Music Theater?…that the contract required an independent annual audit of SMG?…that on Sept. 5, 2007, an addendum to the contract was added, amending the contract from requiring an “audit” to requiring a “review”?…that the audit results recently released show that as of July 2012, a review of SMG had not been completed by the City of Evansville for the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011?… that the recently released SBOA audit reads: “Without the independent review of SMG’s financial records the accuracy of amounts paid to or received from SMG cannot be verified?”…that on Jan. 31, 2011, then-Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel issued a memo to City Council members (http://city-countyobserver.com/2011/01/31/mayor-weinzapfels-unedited-memo-to-the-city-council-regarding-the-decision-on-the-management-of-the-arena/) explaining why the City was going with a new company, VenuWorks to manage the Ford Center?…that then-Mayor Weinzapfel stated in that memo that a committee “concluded that SMG was a highly successful and skilled company, but that their long-term focus on the success of the new arena was a concern,” and “It is not possible to consider the selection of a management company without a hard look at the performance of the incumbent”? …we wonder if we can take then-Mayor Weinzapfel’s words to heart now that we know a State Board of Accounts audit finds that not a single review of SMG was held from the years 2006 through 2011.
IS IT TRUE that Mayor Winnecke has been quoted as saying that all of the problems uncovered by the 2011 SBOA Audit have been solved?…we wonder if the problem of having a controller put into the position of having to reconcile over 100 accounts by hand every month constitutes a solution to the City of Evansville’s problem in Mayor Winnecke’s mind?…this failure to parallel the software packages to put the City into such a compromised financial position is not a forgivable transgression?…unless the MIPS system that the City of Evansville has already burned over a Million Bucks trying to integrate is installed and flawless there is not yet a solution?…we will assume that this Mayor who comes from the banking world has the good sense to understand that an unaudited set of books that were manually balanced with no real time reconciliation software is not a solution?…it is barely a band aid for a gaping wound?…the people of Evansville and the Evansville City Council need to take this BULL by the horns and find the responsible parties so that an appropriate consequence can be administered?…if this Mayor gets in the way of investigating this fiasco of all fiascos (so far) then the people of this town and the City Council need to override his authority and go forward with an investigation, a finding, and of course a financial accounting solution that works?…if someone has to answer to a court over what caused this then so be it?…the time for protecting sacred cows has passed?…Evansville cannot afford to go forward without making this right?…the City of Evansville and the people of Evansville deserve not to be lied to, stolen from, to wallow in Bee Slough, and to smell like it if this endemic idiocy is not challenged?