IS IT TRUE June 11, 2013

Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics

Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics

IS IT TRUE June 11, 2013

IS IT TRUE last night’s meeting of the Evansville City Council was one for the ages when it came to disrespectful tone and disagreement with professional statements?…there were some things that people do tend to agree on and we shall start our column today on those areas of agreement?…members of council and citizen speakers seem to agree that people who take short cuts through residential neighborhoods and drive 50 miles per hour need to be restrained by speed humps?…at a cost of $2,500 each speed humps if they actually work seem to be the cheapest way to attempt to solve this problem?…robocops on every corner could solve the problem too but with the state of affairs at the federal level of a new discovery of how regular people have been getting spied on robocops would cost allot and send the wrong message to a public that in expressing disgust in a non-partisan manner?…about the only other thing the members of the City Council agreed on last night is that the books of the City of Evansville need to be reconciled and that the Winnecke Administration along with City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr. inherited what has become an unmitigated disaster from the Weinzapfel Administration?…the magnitude and timing of this unmitigated accounting disaster makes one wonder just what else may be hidden when this all shakes out?

IS IT TRUE an inconvenient truth in this abomination of accounting is that the people of Evansville have paid Umbaugh and Associates $831,789 to work on this cauldron of ineptness since Mayor Winnecke took the baton from former Mayor Weinzapfel and the mess is still not fixed to the satisfaction of the City Council?…it is almost mystifying that there are actually members of the City Council who are either ignorant or arrogant enough to question the value of financial consultant David Garrett who has exposed several legitimate problems for a whopping fee of $9,000?…in light of the difference in $831,789 and $9,000 David Garrett must be either an accounting God or the luckiest accountant on earth to have found tangible problems where others including the Controller’s Office can’t even bring themselves to admit?…by a contentious vote of 7 – 2 the Evansville City Council affirmed its decision to contract David Garrett for oversight of the reconciliation process with a vote of confidence?…the two “nay” votes as they always have been came from the unlearned alliance of Missy Mosby and Jonathan Weaver?…these two members of the Council have taken on the role of “guard dogs” defending the actions of the previous administration like the hounds of hell?…in one exchange last night Councilwoman Mosby asserted that she had asked for information from David Garrett that she had not received?…Garrett’s response was that they had never had a conversation and that was backed up by City Council President Connie Robinson who stopped just short of calling Councilwoman Mosby a liar in Council Chambers?…in an interchange with Budget Chairman John Friend it was painfully obvious that Councilman Weaver does not even know what the term “oversight” means?

IS IT TRUE that there also seems to be $7.5 Million in the wrong place and no one knows how it happened?…Garrett’s assertion has continually been that unless the reason for this confusion is discovered that it will happen again and therefore the City’s books while balanced by an accounting trick referred to as “plugging” the books are not reconciled?…Controller Lloyd is in vehement disagreement with the conclusion of Garrett and asserts that the accounts are reconciled?…in the truest statement of the night David Garrett laid his credibility on the line when he stated that the final judgment on this will come from the State Board of Accountancy in the upcoming audit?…perhaps the Councilmember of the night award should be given to Councilwoman Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley who showed the same presence of mind and tenaciousness that she had when she exposed the Earthcare Energy debacle for what it was?…Councilwoman Riley scolded Controller Lloyd for stonewalling on Garrett’s efforts by withholding material information from him?…it was good to see Councilwoman Riley on top of her game and holding people accountable?…she was visibly perturbed when the Controller referred to Garrett as “CRAZY” and glared at Council members Mosby and Weaver when they willfully showed their own ignorance?…the City Council needs to be accountable too and sometimes voters don’t seem to have the sense to do that?…2015 should be an interesting year for some challenges?

IS IT TRUE the rest of the discussion exposed what would probably get everyone who has been party to this unmitigated financial disaster tossed out of accounting school for carelessness and incompetence?…there have been funds comingled, software integrations botched up, a changing of the guard during a period of chaos, false statements, withholding material information, nearly a Million bucks spent on consultants with unsatisfying results, and a City Council that openly questions the competency of the Controller’s office?…this nastiness and incompetence on display is probably not new to the City of Evansville?…it is most likely a legacy that has finally come home to roost as have the dilapidated sewers, uninhabitable homes, failing water pipes, decayed sidewalks, and a park system on the brink of disaster?…Mohammed Ali used to say that “if you kill the head the body will die”?…the braintrust of the government of Evansville has been mortally wounded for decades and is in all likelihood the source of the visible infrastructure problems that are on display for all to see?

21 Responses to IS IT TRUE June 11, 2013

  1. John Doe Reply

    June 11, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Why would anyone move here? For the brain sandwiches? I’d move if it were that easy.

      • Yoda Reply

        June 11, 2013 at 9:53 am

        So is the conclusion of the study that smart affluent people move and poor dumb ones stay put? I guess that puts John Doe in the poor dumb pot. It certainly explains allot about Evansville’s problems of poverty and undereducation.

        • John Doe Reply

          June 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

          The inability to put yourself in anyone else’s shoes is common with the uppity right wingers. Think of the costs involves in moving. Also finding a job that would be worth it to move doesn’t help. The real estate collapse is also a big factor.

          • Yoda

            June 11, 2013 at 10:48 am

            Sounds like the last 5 years or so have not been great for you. Maybe you are smart but economically challenged. If your house were above water and you could find a job elsewhere would you pack up and go? That answer will say much about who you are.

        • Pressanykey Reply

          June 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

          I have talked with many local citizens over my lifetime who were good at their profession or job and at one time or another were offered a promotion that they refused because it meant relocating.

          It is about personal values. Is the new job and increased compensation worth leaving family and friends. I do not think that even Pew Research Foundation can come up with a data set for that decision.

          Pew does show that people in the Midwest are the least likely to move. That is not surprising to me as I know first hand the importance of family and friends to Midwesterners.


    • Mike B Reply

      June 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      I’m a young professional, moved here (no family in the area) and I like it. Truth is the grass always looks greener. I often read the comments but I think I’ll stop- its so easy to stand on your soapbox and blather on about how terrible a city is- while I know your defense is “its true” –the reality is that its not productive, it does not empower those that are doing good.

  2. Give_us_Barabus Reply

    June 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Evansville may have been called out for being miserable but the truth is Evansville is an island of stupidity. This sort of thing makes Detroit look smart. Don’t be surprised of several people from the Weinzapfel days end up in jail. This is too stupid to not be planned.

    • Pressanykey Reply

      June 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

      Evansville suffers because of its information deficiency. We have had only an establishment newspaper for as long as I can remember.

      With the advent of personal computing and the world wide web things have gotten better, however, there are still far too many people who for various reasons are not taking advantage of the new technology to expand their information base.

      That is why websites like CCO are so vital, as opposed to our local newspaper who’s banner shouts:

      SCRIPPS: “Give light and the people will find their own way”

      Dante scholar H.D. Austin from the University of Southern California attributed the line to the following passage in Purgatory XXII67-69: “Facesti come quei che va di notte che porta il lume dietro e.a se non giova ma dopo se fa le persone dott.” A literal translation of this would read: “Thou didst as one who passing through the night bears a light behind, that profits not himself but makes those who follow wise.”

      If only this local newspaper would live up to such an ideal Evansville would be a much better place to live and her citizens would be better educated in the process.

      BTW, the Albuquerque New Mexico newspaper that was the first to use the Scripps banner in June of 1922 had to fold when they could not find a buyer for the newspaper.

      Newspapers that are disinterested (do not confuse with uninterested) and actively investigate their environment with the goal of printing the truth do not lose their readership.


  3. Don Reply

    June 11, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Great article, you are doing a great job, keep up the good work.
    WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SEARCH ENGINE???? I’ve asked this before.

  4. JoeBiden Reply

    June 11, 2013 at 9:52 am

    “… the unlearned alliance of Missy Mosby and Jonathan Weaver?”

    This may be the CCO’s best descriptive writing of the year! Completely accurate.

    • BigPappa Reply

      June 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Surely these two fools will not be re-elected. If you live in their districts or know anyone that does, tell them and anyone else that will listen what total zeros these two are.

  5. Steven Smith Reply

    June 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

    So if I understand this correctly the City can’t even balance its checkbook(s) let alone the whole balance sheet/books?

    When was the last time/year the City’s audit got an unqualified/clean opinion?

    I mean if we can’t even reconcile our own checkbooks this city is in even worse shape than I thought.

    When was the last time the checkbooks were reconciled??

    I mean you have to start there, with a clean reconciliation and then go month by month until you’re up to date.

    Surely Friend and Lloyd understand this.

    What a mess!!

  6. Grumpy Olman Reply

    June 11, 2013 at 11:48 am

    about the only other thing the members of the City Council agreed on last night is that the books of the City of Evansville need to be reconciled and that the Winnecke Administration along with City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr. inherited what has become an unmitigated disaster from the Weinzapfel Administration?…inherited About 18 months ago. I keep wondering at what time a problem becomes yours. No matter what you inherited You should own it after a while. Has this administration ever admitted the last one never reconciled the books.

    • Pressanykey Reply

      June 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      We have heard several people state that balancing under the old system was not a problem. If that is true, it begs the question of why the new software was purchased in the first place. Surely no one had any reason to go to a system that would make balancing as difficult as it currently is.

      Who was the first person or persons to raise the issue of purchasing the new financial software?


      • Brad Linzy Reply

        June 12, 2013 at 1:34 am

        They purchased the software for the same reasons they wanted a new sports temple and a dog park, because politicians cannot feel like real men unless they’re wielding their power to spend other people’s money to reward cronies who got them elected. I don’t know any simpler way to put it. What other reason can you come up with to fix something that ain’t broke?

  7. Harold_Melvin + Blue Notes Reply

    June 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Watched the entire melodrama on TV last night.

    If City Controller doesn’t have a work paper to support a $ 7 Million entry, it’s not reconciled.

    City should cut its losses now, admit there was an ” offsetting” of unreconciled balances, and state that it is not cost efficient to keep searching for the errors (be it software or bookkeeper mistakes).

    • Pressanykey Reply

      June 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Russ Lloyd and the city would have to sell that “solution” to the SBOA next month. If the SBOA accepts, it will probably be with the knowledge that a proper resolution to the reconciliation problems can not be accomplished for lack of documentation. That will certainly be a black eye for the city and should cause some uneasiness with the rating agencies.

      When you pay professionals you should expect and receive “professional” results, especially if you are paying with public funds.


      • Steven Smith Reply

        June 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

        As a CPA and former auditor I can tell you professionals can get stonewalled and treated like a mushroom, if you know what I mean.

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