Archive for the ‘City of Monroe’ Category

Richwood Finances “Un-Auditable”

04/21/2015

In a just-released financial report on the Town of Richwood, Baton Rouge CPA Melvin Davis revealed numerous findings and problems for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, and “disclaimed” an opinion on the town’s finances.

Wrote Davis:

The Town could not provide sufficient competent evidence to determine the accuracy and completeness of the Town’s financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2013.

and,

The Town’s ongoing revenue shortfalls and inability to meet its financial obligations raise substantial doubt about the Town’s ability to continue as a going concern.

See here the complete report.

Among the findings:

Overall lack of financial management
Failure to record transactions
No financial statements
Lack of payroll administration
Potential ethics violations

Richwood has been under the direction of a Fiscal Administrator, Lafayette CPA Jonald Walker, who took over AFTER the period covered in the report.

Reportedly, Walker is making progress with the town’s finances.

I-20 Board Meeting This Afternoon

04/21/2015

The Interstate 20 Economic Development District Board of Directors will meet today, (Tuesday, April 21) 4:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.

Monroe Mayor Mayo Agrees – In Writing – To Council Budget Requests

04/20/2015

Last week’s meeting of the Monroe City Council saw an “agreement” – in writing – between the council and Mayor Jamie Mayo on budget matters.

Recall that after the council introduced its own budget at the March 24 meeting, Mayo went on a public relations push, and said the council’s budget would be “catastrophic” to city’s finances.

Mayo held town meetings with his factotums from city hall in tow. Dutifully carrying water for Mayo was The (Monroe, LA) News Star, aka The Mayo Mouthpiece.

City Hall watchers anticipated a lively 4/14 meeting over who would vote how, if Mayo would veto, and if his veto would be upheld or overruled. Then, as the 4/14 meeting got underway, it was announced that the mayor and council had settled their differences.

However, not until Roosevelt Wright’s column in the 4/18 edition of the Monroe Free Press did we know that Mayo put his promises in writing.

Among the document’s points:

Understanding of the Parties – The parties agree and understand that the effectiveness of the Mayor’s Original Proposed Budget is predicated upon the following commitments by James E. Mayo, Mayor:

1. Additional funding for increased safety and protection to police department;
2. Additional funding for ditching, flooding and culverts;
3. Additional funding for wage increases up to a standard minimum wage rate of $10.00 per hour pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement;
4. Funding for “at risk” youth including the Special Skills Program in association with the Home Builders Association;
5. Funding for the Granny Goins Kitchen,O.K. Program and Council of Aging;
6. Funding for programs to beautify and make the City “litter free”;and
7. Overlay of Jackson Street.

It is further understood by the parties that quarterly budget amendments will be presented to the Monroe City Council prior to such budget amendment appearing on the Monroe City Council Agenda and further that a quarterly report on the above stated six(6) commitments be prepared and submitted to the council.

See here the signed document.

Fourth District (Ouachita) Court Coverup Update

04/16/2015

A 9:30 AM, May 19th court date has been set for a hearing in the public records dispute between The Ouachita Citizen and the Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court. The hearing will be at the Ouachita Parish Court House on South Grand Street.

At issue are documents that would shed light on allegations that court clerk Allyson Campbell destroyed court documents. Also, the documents could shed light on assertions by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor of payroll discrepancies in the court.

From the audit:

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.

See here the complete audit.

Campbell is a columnist for The (Monroe, LA) New Star.

See here the complete Johnny Gunter news story in this week’s Citizen (subscription required).

Monroe City Council Tuesday

04/12/2015

The Monroe City Council will meet Tuesday, April 14, 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda and information packet.

Monroe Homeowners Sue City of Monroe Over Apartments

04/08/2015

Several Monroe residents have sued the City of Monroe, seeking to have a stop work order issued, and the building permit revoked for apartment buildings under construction on Broadmoor Avenue.

The attorney for the plaintiffs is Tom Arceneaux of Shreveport.

See here the documents.

The plaintiffs claim the work permit was issued under an outdated site plan, and also violated zoning ordinances.

Fourth District (Ouachita) Court Coverup Update

04/01/2015

According to the Ouachita Citizen’s Zach Parker, an ad hoc judge has been appointed to hear the case of that newspaper’s efforts to obtain public records.

The Louisiana Supreme Court has appointed a retired judge from New Iberia to decide whether the Fourth Judicial District Court has any legal grounds to bar access to court records sought by The Ouachita Citizen.

No hearing date has been scheduled.

Thus far, the district court has refused to release documents requested in five public records requests submitted by The Ouachita Citizen since February. The records concern Allyson Campbell, a district court law clerk, who was accused in a civil proceeding of withholding and destroying documents filed with the court. The newspaper also has sought records related to the district court’s internal investigation of payroll irregularities.

Campbell clerks for Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Wilson Rambo.

See here the complete article. At the link many court documents are available for viewing.

Two weeks ago, the newspaper filed a criminal complaint against the court. In retaliation, the court civilly sued the newspaper.

Monroe Council Budget MORE Than Mayo Budget

03/27/2015

The Fiscal Year 2015-2016 general fund budget for the City of Monroe that was introduced by the Monroe City Council at Tuesday’s meeting was either $1 million or $2 million MORE than that proposed by Mayor Jamie Mayo, according to budget documents reviewed by Lincoln Parish News Online.

Ever since the council budget was revealed, Mayo has been baying that it would be “catastrophic” to the city’s operations. Also, city department heads flocked to the Tuesday meeting and one after the other caterwauled that their departments would be crippled from “cuts” if the Mayo budget wasn’t adopted.

Either they don’t know how to read a spreadsheet, or they were dissembling.

According to the council’s general fund summary, the Mayo budget predicts revenues of $59,094,042.00, and expenditures of $59,125,076.00. The council budgeted $60,094,842.00 in revenue, with the same amount of expenditures, about $1 million more.

See here the document.

A footnote says all the figures for 2014, 2015, and departmental requests for 2016 were supplied by the administration.

However, the Mayo budget general fund summary that was supplied in the information packet for Tuesday’s meeting showed projected revenues of $58,058,028.00 and expenditures of $56,486,746.00, or $2 million less in revenues and $4 million less in expenditures.

See here the document.

See here the complete council budget document.

Of course, you’ll never see this analysis in The (Monroe, LA) News Star, as their fiscal stupidity is legendary.

Mayo’s Budget Amended on 3-1 Vote

03/25/2015

Controversial Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo’s 2015-2016 budget for the City of Monroe was amended at last night’s meeting on a 3-1 vote, and replaced with a budget crafted by the City Council.

Voting for the council budget were Armstrong, Blakes, and Wilson. Ezernack voted no, and Clark was not present.

The move didn’t sit well with Mayo, who exploded into a tirade, and accused Council Chair Ray Armstrong of lying, when he said he tried to meet with the administration.

Fumed Mayo, “They are not true, and you know they are not true.”

Armstong replied that he had emailed Mayo to ask for a meeting, and he had declined. Armstrong said he had the emails to prove his assertion.

Many department heads also spoke up against the council’s budget, which in many instances apparently were the same monetary amounts as was spent in last year’s budget.

Armstrong was not successful in getting the votes for an ordinance that would require bids for professional services. That motion failed on a 2-2 vote, with Ezernack and Wilson voting no.

As with the budget, many city department heads opposed the ordinance, saying it would cause undue delay in the city’s business.

Also commenting was CenturyLink VP & Assistant General Counsel Carrick Inabnett, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of the company.

Inabnett said he saw no reason to change procedures, as corruption wasn’t a problem with the city. Armstrong had said with a bid process, favoritism for preferred contractors would be less likely.

Said Inabnett, “With respect to this particular bid process, we’re unaware of any criminal or civil action that addresses this particular issue.”

Inabnett apparently forgot about the two former Monroe councilmen who were recently convicted for bribery and are serving time in federal prison, Robert “Red” Stevens and Arthur Gilmore.

Monroe City Council Tomorrow

03/23/2015

The Monroe City Council will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, 3/24), 6 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.


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