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Here’s The Scoop … The LBTS Finance Department …. Not A Pretty Picture ….

July 8, 2010 by Barbara

CANCELED  …

On the LBTS Town Website today …7/8/10…..

“TOWN OF LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA
TOWN COMMISSION
BUDGET WORKSHOP
NOTICE OF CANCELLATION
Jarvis Hall
4501 Ocean Drive
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
6:00 P.M.
The Town Commission Budget Workshop scheduled for July 13, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. has
been cancelled.”

LBTS Town website …
“FINANCE

Under the direction of the Town Manager, the Finance Director’s job is to professionally manage the financial affairs of the Town, to protect and enhance the Town’s strong financial reputation, and to efficiently provide the professional leadership and management skills necessary to execute all Town policies.

The director not only recommends alternative solutions to community problems and budgetary options, but maintains internal accounting controls to ensure the reliability of all Town financial records. The director is also responsible for overseeing Town finances, budget, procurement, record management, grants and debt administration, risk management issues and human resources.

The director works with the Town Manager on several finance-related issues, including budgets, financial reporting, debt issuance and investment options. The director strives to adhere to the Town’s investment goals of maintaining liquidity, protecting principal and maximizing return on investments. The director also works to continually develop, adopt and follow best practice financial policies while staying abreast of the latest developments in Government Finance.

For the past several years, the Town has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association, a professional association of state and municipal finance officers in the U.S. and Canada.

The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award Program encourages cities and towns to prepare budget documents of the highest quality to meet the needs of elected officials and concerned taxpayers. The award represents a significant achievement for any community, because it reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. The Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in government budgeting.”

http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

Dear Readers …. A look at the “overview” shows the taxpayers what we are supposed to be in receipt of …pun intended …from the Finance/Budget Director and her Dept….From what we have seen and heard in the aftermath of the termination of former Town Manager Colon and the resignation of Finance/Budget Director Kaola King all we really received were smoke and mirrors wrapped in a “pretty picture” ( provided by Marc Furth) …Thus the “Distinguished Budget PRESENTATION Award” because it all looked so darn”presentable”..HA!…

We hear the Town’s Finance Department was working on ledgers…(with #2 pencils? Being facetious here…)  and that has been verified in the performance review this writer received from a public records request received yesterday… (see below)…. No wonder the department required 4 employees!…

We also understand an Interim Finance Director has been hired by the Interim Town Manager and is said to be the person who did the audit as a consultant in the first month of the new administration… Ms. Hoffmann has the ability and the contacts to find this Town the most qualified people to head the departments and get this Town up to snuff with streamlining the bloated employee payroll …

Former Town Manager Colon’s choices for key positions were incredibly bad, in this writer’s opinion and was totally out of line with her statements made on April 24, 2007 … when offered the Town Manager position …(prev. post) …

“Acting Town Manager Colon stated that for 11 weeks she has been doing five jobs, and the only
thing she is asking of the Commission is that they hire professional people in the Town. She
said it may take longer, but she’d rather have a decent staff that can all work together towards.”

This writer previously posted the performance appraisals for Town Clerk June White and former Asst. Town Manager John Olinzock when the Town was in the ongoing process of the Performance Review for Ms. Colon last year.. which showed that Town Clerk White still was not certified to be a Town Clerk …June White is not alone in lacking  the proper certification for the position she holds…. I have asked for and received the performance appraisals for former Finance/Budget Director Kaola King and former HHR Mgr.Kathy O’Brien (future post) along with other Baldwin/Colon hired Town employees… I requested all performance appraisals from date hired to the most recent……..and received the following …

“Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Employee Annual Performance Appraisal”

“Date prepared: 4/19/2010” (1 day before Esther Colon was terminated on a Sunday?)

“Employee Name: Kaola King /Title: Finance & Budget Director”

“Reason for Review: Annual”

“Date Employee began present position 4/8/2008” (see prev. posts)

“Definition of Performance Ratings

O-Oustanding-performance is exceptional in all areas and is recognizable as being far superior to others.

V- Very Good- Results clearly exceed most position requirements. Performance is of high quality and is achieved on a consistent basis.

G-Good- Competent and dependable level of performance. Meets performance standards of the job.

I-Improvement Needed-Performance is deficient in certain areas. Improvement is necessary.

U-Unsatisfactory- Results are generally unacceptable and require immediate improvement. No merit increase should be granted to individuals with this rating.

N/A- Not Applicable- or too soon to rate.

General Factors………………….Rating ……….Supportive Detail or Comment

1. Quality- The extent to which employee’s work is accurate, thorough and neat…..V……Maintains operational efficiency

2. Productivity- The extent to which an employee produces a significant volume of work efficiently in a specified period of time……..v…..Achieve timely result (EOM) pre close

3. Job Knowledge- The extent to which an employee possesses the practical/technical knowledge required on the job……..G/I……. Can manage daily operation of dept(s) Must familiarize w/GASB changes and implementation

4. Reliability- The extent to which an employee can be relied upon regarding task completion…….V…….Relied upon to meet dept demands with short notice from Commission via Town Manager’s Office

5. Availability- The extent to which an employee is punctual, observes prescribed work break/meal periods and has an acceptable overall attendance record……G……Meets dept demands & will flexhours

6. Independence- The extent to which an employee performs with little or no supervision……..G…..Requires supervision but confers with staff & Administration when necessary

7. Creativity- The extent to which employee proposes ideas, finds new and better ways of ding thing…..V…..Assist staff with process if same results

8. Initiative- The extent to which an employee seeks out new assignments and assumes additional duties……G……Not enough time & staff to seek out new assignments

9. Adherence to Policy- The extent to which an employee follows safety and conduct rules, other regulations and adheres to company policies……I…….Must adhere to policies (staff evaluation & performance)

10. Interpersonal Relationships- The extent to which an employee is willing and demonstrates the ability to cooperate, work and communicate with co-workers, supervisors, subordinates and/or outside contacts…….V……….. Communicates w/internal & external staff

11. Judgement- The extent to which an employee demonstrates proper judgment and decision-making skills when necessary….V….Entrusted to use good judgment

Employer Comments: Needs to acquire additional Gasb knowledge and obtain CGFO certification to excel as Director.”

Shows no discussion with individual on a date…

“Employees’ signature:Kaola King

Evaluator’s signature: Esther Colon Date: 4/20/10” (The day Colon was Terminated on a Monday)

BC- So on the day before the former TM was terminated she wrote this performance appraisal and signed it on the day of…and included the following troubling inclusions # 3/#6/#9 and her Employer Comments “Needs to acquire additional Gasb knowledge and obtain CGFO certification to excel as Director.” ….for the Finance Director she chose for the position 2 years prior!..WOW!…

Some previous Performance Appraisal “Scheduled”4/4/09 /Signed by Kaola King & Evaluator Esther Colon 4/16/09 (see above to coordinate number/rating…)

“1.G….Is meticulous with detail

2.G…Must achieve results with accuracy and precision

3. G….Needs to be able to identify out of balance condition and strengthen G/L review skill for adherence to fund acct principals

4. G…..no comment

5.V…….no comment

6. G…..Needs to maintain consistent accuracy

7. G….no comment

8. G…no comment

9. V….no comment

10. G….Needs to communicate importance of meaningful information and increased accuracy to obtain department efficiency

11. G……Needs to validate posting date for general ledger”

BC- the above verifies the use of a general ledger” YIKES!…

“Employer Comments: Must obtain CGFO certification to broaden finance, accounting concepts, principals and gasb standards.

Kaola must recognize the importance of working through subordinate for timely completion of task.”

Colon listed King’s accomplishment since last review “Received FY 08-09 Budget Award.

Colon listed “specified area of improvement needed: Eliminate Time Wasters”

Colon recommended GFOA Seminars and Institute

BC- in 2009 Colon went to the GFOA workshop in Chicago instead of King…(prev. posts) in was a “beginner course” according to the online program

King took approved leave and approved annual, sick or Admin. Leave

On 3/4/09 King had an 11 mo. evaluation as Dir.of Budget & Finance

“1.G. ….Is meticulous with detail

2. G. ….Must achieve results with accuracy and precision

3. G….Needs to be able to identify out of balance condition and strengthen G/L review skill for adherence to fund acct principals

4. G…..no comment

5.V…….no comment

6. G…..Needs to maintain consistent accuracy

7. G….no comment

8. G…no comment

9. V….no comment

10. G….Needs to communicate importance of meaningful information and increased accuracy to obtain department efficiency

11. G…… no comment

“Employer Comments:Kaola must recognize the importance of working through subordinate for timely completion of task.” (partial same comment as 4/4/09)

Colon (or Olinzock?..hard to read signature and no name listed at top of evaluation) listed accomplishments “completed Audit Process YE 09/30/08″….”Specific area of improvement needed : Eliminate Time Wasters” …Recommended “GFOA Seminars and Institute classes”

“Discussed with Individual on 03/4/08” signed by King and either Colon or Olinzock

“Scheduled appraisal date: 09/01/08 Reason: Other

1. G….no comment

2. G…no comment

3. G ….Will attend GFOA classes for certification to broaden fund acctg knowledge

4. V…….no comment

5. V……no comment

6. G………no comment

7. G…..no comment

8. G…….no comment

9. V…….no comment

10. V……..no comment

11. G…….no comment

Employer Comments: “Kaola continues to demonstrate her ability to adapt to changing environment”

Again the signature could be Colon or Olinzock no name typed for evaluator …it states see attached for “accomplishments”..no attachment…Recommends GFOA Seminars and Conference (see above)….1 week sick (hospital)

“Discussed with individual on 9/15/08” signed by King and Colon or Olinzock on 9/15/08

“Scheduled appraisal date 07/03/08 Reason: Other -30 day

1. G….no comment

2. G…no comment

3. G ….Will attend GFOA classes for certification to broaden fund acctg knowledge

4. V…….no comment

5. V……no comment

6. G………no comment

7. G…..no comment

8. G…….no comment

9. V…….no comment

10. V……..no comment

11. G…….no comment

“Employer Comments: Kaola continues to demonstrate her ability to adapt to changing environment”

Again the signature could be Colon or Olinzock no name typed for evaluator …it states see attached for “accomplishments”.. Attachment was “Kaola King GFOA Annual Conference -June 15-June 18, 2008″…Recommends “GFOA Seminars and Conference” (see above)….1 week sick (hospital)

“Employee Comments: I will continue to work hard and improve in all areas of Finance.”

“Discussed with individual on 7/3/08” signed by King ….Follow -up was requested ….Signed by  Colon or Olinzock …no date

“Scheduled appraisal date: 5/4/08 Reason: Other-30 day

1. G….no comment

2. V/G…A/P and C/P process is current

3. G …. no comment

4. V…….no comment

5. V……no comment

6. G………no comment

7. G…..no comment

8. G…….not applicable at this time

9. V…….no comment

10. V……..no comment

11. G…….no comment

“Employer Comments:Kaola continues to demonstrate her ability to adapt to different processes and multi task when needed. Kaola wil seek information to begin process to take CGFO certification (2-3 year process)”

Colon or Olinzock (signature not readable ..no typed name for evaluator) accomplishment see attached…it is a “Training Roster” of monthly duties..Recommends: “GFOA Seminars and Conferences. Mandatory attendance to Trim Seminar.”…

“Discussed with Individual on 5/6/08” King signed as well as Colon or Olinzock on 5/5/08

BC- Readers will remember that Ms. Colon herself was made the Finance Director when she began her career without the credentials as well…(prev. post)…

It is this writer’s hope that Int. TM Hoffmann will do what former TM Colon stated she would do when she was asked to take the position on April 24, 2007…(see above) ….hire professional people…who are already certified and definitely up- to- date on Finance/ Budget processes as well as schooled in the latest software!… Thus … “Eliminate Time Waster”….The Ledgers!….Put down the #2 pencils in the Finance/Budget Dept.!… And cut down the size of the department’s staff members this budget season while you’re at it!….

This is why I, as a taxpayer have absolutely no concerns about the 2010/11 Budget  …It will be A-OK and then some ….under the direction of Int. TM Hoffmann…and the Int. Budget/Finance Director she has brought in…

more to come……

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