Archive for the ‘City of Monroe’ Category

Fourth Judicial Court (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) Audit Finding


A just-released audit of the Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court Expense Fund has revealed a finding of an instance where “some employees may have received compensation when they were not working.”

From the document:

Our audit procedures disclosed that some employees may have received compensation when they were not working. It appears that hours reported to payroll on time sheets might have been misclassified as time worked instead of leave time used. This condition was detected by management and investigated internally before the audit. However, the control system did not detect the condition.

The audit was done by Jonesboro’s Bosch and Statham, and was for the fiscal year 7/1/13 – 6/30/14.

The document noted:

The condition has at least the following effects:

1. State law may have been violated.
2. The Court may have compensated some employees for time that they did not work.
3. If the Court compensated an employee(s) for time that was not worked, that employee also accumulated leave time that was not earned.

In response, management said:

“The prior policies and procedures had been in place for years and had been effective; however, when a possible problem was called to the Court’s attention, an immediate investigation was undertaken with the assistance of outside counsel and other consulting professionals. As a result, prompt remedial actions were implemented to increase controls, including policy revisions and additional staff training. In fact, the auditor’s recommendations were implemented prior to the issuance of this finding and are being monitored for continued compliance.”

See here the complete document.

Monroe Audit Budget to Become Council Responsibility


Perhaps the most notable occurrence at last night’s meeting of the Monroe City Council in a budget hearing was the revelation that the line item for external audit expense had been moved from the administration category to that part of the budget under the control of the council.

What that means is the council will be responsible for hiring the auditor that does the annual financial report for the city.

Formerly, the administration hired the auditor, and the council approved the hire.

Otherwise, the council spent the meeting going over dozens of budget line items, asking questions about revenues and expenses, with little out of the ordinary.

Fielding most of the questions were Budget Director Curtis Heard, Director of Accounting Stacey Haynie, and Director of Administration David Barnes.

At the beginning of the meeting, Council Chair Ray Armstrong (District 1) noted that the purpose of the hearing was to provide the council and the public with in-depth information about the budgeting process.

Said Armstrong, “One of our major functions is to review and control and pass the budget.”

Notable in the audience were two former Legislative Auditors, David Greer and Alan Brown.

Greer was most recently the Fiscal Administrator appointed to oversee the Town of Gibsland, and Brown was often seen in the courtroom during the trial of former Jonesboro mayor Leslie Thompson.

Shreveport Councilman Wants AG Opinion on City Attorney Conflict; Situation Similar to Monroe


Newly elected Shreveport District A Councilman Willie Bradford has asked the Louisiana Attorney General (AG) for an opinion regarding the conflicting duties of the City Attorney.

See here the document.

Bradford notes in his request that the City Attorney is appointed by the mayor and approved by the council. That individual represents the city, rather than the council or the mayor specifically, and serves at the pleasure of the mayor, Bradford wrote.

Bradford went on to say that the council is not afforded the conflict-free legal representation contemplated by Rule 1.7 of the Louisiana Rules for Professional Conduct for attorneys.

The situation in Shreveport is strikingly similar to that of the City of Monroe, where that city’s attorney supposedly works for both the mayor and the council, per Section 4-02 of the Monroe City Charter.

The Monroe City Council has entertained the idea of hiring its own attorney in the past.

Monroe City Council Meeting Postponed


Tonight’s 6:00 PM meeting of the Monroe City Council has been postponed until Wednesday, 2/25, 6:00 PM, according to KTVE-TV10.

Deadheads Get Snow Day; Tax Slaves Get to Work


Winter Weather Closings for Monday, February 23 – KTVE-TV10

-Lincoln Parish Public Schools: Closed Monday
-Cedar Creek School: Closed Monday
-All Louisiana Tech University campuses, including Tech-Barksdale and the Shreveport Center: Closed Monday
-Grambling State University: Closed Monday
-Louisiana Delta Community College (All Campuses): Closed Monday
-Grambling Laboratory School K-12: Closed Monday
-Union Parish Public Schools: Closed Monday
-Union Christian Academy: Closed Monday
-D’Arbonne Woods Charter School: Closed Monday
-Downsville Charter School: Closed Monday
-Mom’s Helper Daycare in Farmerville: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Christian School: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Public Libraries: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Courthouse: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Police Jury: Closed Monday
-University of Louisiana Monroe (All Campuses): Closed Monday
-Montessori School of Ruston: Closed Monday
-Our Lady of Fatima School: Closed Monday
-Jesus The Good Shepherd: Closed Monday
-St. Frederick’s High School: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Richland Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Claiborne Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Monroe City Schools: Closed Monday
-Delhi Charter School: Closed Monday
-Claiborne Christian School and K-4: Closed Monday
-Franklin Academy: Closed Monday
-West Carroll Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Grace Episcopal School: Closed Monday
-Learning Tech Quest School (Full School & After School Programs): Closed Monday
-Franklin Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-All OMCAP Head Start: Closed Monday
-Bayou Gymnastic Pre-School: Closed Monday
-Unitech Training Academy: Closed Monday
-Riverfield Academy (Rayville): Closed Monday
-Vision Academy High School (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Delta Head Start & Early Head Start in Madison/East Carroll & Richland Parishes: Closed Monday
-YMCA After School Programs: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Council of Aging: Closed Monday
-Prevailing Faith Christian Academy: Closed Monday
-Beekman Charter School Teacher In-Services: Closed Monday
-Happy Days Development and Learning Center (West Monroe): Closed Monday
-Briarfield Academy: Closed Monday
-St Francis Pediatric Neurology (Dr. Pina’s Office): Closed Monday
-New Vision Learning Academy (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Missy Crain Dance Studios: Closed Monday
-College Prep Daycare and Preschool (West Monroe): Closed Monday
-Mini Scholars Daycare (West Monroe): Closed Monday
-Anna’s Lollipop Lane Daycare (Bastrop): Closed Monday
-Playhowse Learning Center (Sterlington and Playhowse -Farmerville): Closed Monday
-Debbie’s School of Dance: Closed Monday
-New Vision Child Development Center: Closed Monday
-First Assembly Learning Center Daycare (West Monroe): Closed Monday
-Happy Tails Daycare (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Monroe City Court: Closed Monday
-Delta Charter School (Ferriday): Closed Monday
-Arthritis & Diabetes Clinic (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Liberty Stylist Beauty School (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Toonie Bugs Daycare (Calhoun): Closed Monday
-Fourth District Court: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Council On Aging/Meals On Wheels Deliveries: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Library: Closed Monday
-Covenant Day School (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Physical Therapy, Inc: Closed Monday
-Prairie View Academy (Bastrop): Closed Monday
-Wonderland Child Care & Development Center: Closed Monday
-NE Delta Human Services Authority Offices & Clinics: Closed Monday
-Excellent Daycare (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Arco of Community Resource: Closed Monday
-Wee Learner’s Daycare: Closed Monday
-Child’s Play II Daycare: Closed Monday
-Fairpark Baptist Church Daycare: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Parish Library (All Branches): Closed Monday
-Excellence Academy Charter School: Closed Monday
-First United Methodist Daycare, Monroe: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Parish Public Libraries (all branches): Closed Monday
-Oak Grove Town Hall Meet On Tues., Feb 24th postponed to March 3rd

Monroe City Council Tuesday


The Monroe City Council will meet Tuesday, February 24, 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda and related information.

I-20 Board to Ask for Extension of District


The Interstate 20 Economic Development District Board of Directors will be asking the Louisiana Legislature for a extension of the agency’s term, now set to expire in 2025.

Board President Otis Chisley said at last night’s meeting, that Senator Francis Thompson (District 34) would be willing to sponsor enabling legislation to keep the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in operation for another twelve years.

The district was originally created by an act of the Legislature in 1996.

Chisley said he would need letters from the Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ), the Mayor of Monroe, the local Chamber of Commerce, and the Monroe City Council supporting the effort.

The board also heard a report on a drainage study being conducted by S. E. Huey Co..

Charles Taylor and Hunter Lancaster showed aerial photos of three plans they considered to move runoff from the north side of Interstate 20 to the south side and then into Bayou Lafourche.

The projects ranged in cost from about $3 million to about $4 million.

Taylor noted that as the area was further developed and paved, runoff would increase and exacerbate existing drainage issues.

The board said they would study the proposals and make a decision.

I-20 Board Meeting Tuesday


The Interstate 20 Economic Development District Board of Directors will meet Tuesday, February 17, 5:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.

Seen This Morning in Monroe



More Unfunded Retirement Liabilities in Area Government


After last week’s revelation about the huge unfunded health retirement obligations at the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB), we decided to take a look at other area governmental agencies and see what their audits reveal.

Here’s what we found:

Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office (LPSO)

The audit for the year ended 6/30/14 shows an unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) of $7.4 million. For the year, the amount contributed to the fund by the LPSO was 45% of the amount required to properly fund the account, the documents claim.

See here the pertinent documents from the audit.

Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ)

For the year ending 12/31/13, this agency’s audit shows the UAAL to be $12.36 million. For the year, the OPPJ contributed 55.8% of the amount necessary to fund future obligations.

See here the documents.

City of Monroe

Monroe’s UAAL for the year ended was $47.2 million as of 4/30/14. During that year, the funding level was at 45%.

See here the documents.

These liabilities are for retiree health care costs only, and don’t include any pension liabilities.

To be sure, these agencies are meeting current obligations. But when you project future costs that reflect turnover rate, retirement rate, health care cost trend rates, mortality rates, and investment return assumptions, none are properly preparing for the future.


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