Citizens For A Better Norwood

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Auditor Jones reportedly still delinquent on 2006 GAP Report

Maybe Deputy Auditor Laake get it done

As everyone knows, Channel 12 reported last week that City Auditor Donnie Jones has been working 900 miles away as full time Treasurer for the City of Orlando, Florida. In his weekday absence from Norwood, it appears his City Auditor’s office has been failing to deduct proper payments from city employees’ wages to the point that warrants will be issued for employees whose child support payments aren’t caught up soon.

Not mentioned in the media coverage is the fact Mr. Jones missed the 5/31/07 deadline for submitting a GAP (General Accepted Principles) Report for 2006 with the Auditor of State. As Bessie reported in this 6/12/07 blog, the AOS can apply penalties up to $750 since he did not apply for a filing extension. Yesterday morning, our source at the AOS told us he had no knowledge of the report being filed yet. Why is this report so important to the City of Norwood? Because until it‘s completed and filed and analyzed by the AOS, Norwood will remain in Fiscal Watch, a status that can, among other things, wreak havoc on potential development. Our 6/3/07 blog reported the following:

“According to our AOS source, the state needs only two more documents from the City before our collective financial nightmare is over : 1.) Auditor Jones must submit a 2006 GAP (General Accepted Principles) report to the AOS, and then 2.) the City must formally request an analysis. With regard to the former, Mr. Thompson told council that as of a month ago, Mr. Jones was looking at how he would accomplish the GAP report, and our source told us a representative from Mr. Jones’ office met recently with an AOS official to discuss the matter.

As we understand it, there’s no need for the City to request an analysis until Mr. Jones submits the 2006 GAP report. We certainly hope he's burning a little midnight oil if that’s what it takes to get the job done.”

Auditor Jones told the Channel 12 reporter last week, “I've got immediate access wherever I am in the world. I've got blackberries, cell phone, any kind of access I need.” If he has any kind of access he needs, why have payments been delinquent, and why hasn’t he completed the 2006 GAP Report and turned it in? Does his tardiness have anything to do with why council has a resolution on tonight’s agenda that seeks to extend the free technical services the AOS provides under Fiscal Watch through June 30, 2008? But for Mr. Jones, wouldn’t the City likely be out of Fiscal Watch now?

Unlike here in Norwood, things are fine on the Florida end of Auditor Jones’ employment, according to this Orlando TV station’s report. Let’s hope they’re fine here soon, too, and that newly appointed Deputy Auditor Robert Laake made some headway yesterday on getting those delinquent child support payments current so our police officers and other employees are no longer under threat of arrest. Then, perhaps as soon as he’s taken care of all the delinquent payments for all the city employees, he can dig into getting that 2006 GAP Report done.