Bay Tech controversy going to court ~ Geoff Belcher
Bay city clerk decries rumors, says finances in good shape ~ Cassandra Favre
I was told City Clerk Kolf actually quit his job at the meeting, an action he later renounced. I’m reminded of the old phrase “Temperament for the trade” upon hearing such things from meeting attendees. And I’ll be frank in saying that if the City can’t remit it’s obligations to the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority then there is a major money problem at City Hall because the city is the collection agent for garbage fees.
Ms. Favre’s piece is chock full of BS and sophistry. I’m not blaming her because she snagged quotes from management and the City Council. Rather, I’m amused at Kolf trumpeting the 2012 audit when the preliminary copy obtained by Slabbed contains major internal control weaknesses identified including double payment of vendor invoices, which in turn means internal controls over non payroll disbursements are virtually nonexistent.
True enough, under previous Mayor Eddie Favre the City kept its books on Quickbooks (it may still and that thought is horrifying to me) and had to snag legislative dispensation for its annual audit after Katrina because the books and accounting records were in such bad shape as to be unauditable. That was horrifying too.
Bottom line is if the City’s tax collections are within the amount budgeted, then being cash tight to the point where payables are being used as a source of cash flow indicates a deeper problem. And Kolf admitted, by saying he was not paying the City’s bills on time, a tacit violation of the “Timely Payment Law” found in § 31-7-305, Mississippi Code Annotated (1972). And it does not make economic sense to pay the prevailing interest rate of 150 basis points per month as that works out to effective annual interest rate of 18% (1800 basis points). Municipalities typically can borrow at a far cheaper price of funds.