Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Why San Angelo Citizens Did Not Get Water Rebate

The City of San Angelo's Water Fund continues to surprise.  First, it came in at $6.7 million.  That's $1 million higher than prior numbers released to the public.  The city took nine adjustments worth nearly $3.2 million to get the fund balance down to $3.6 million.  

City Council expressly approved only $1.2 million of these adjustments.  The remaining $2 million were characterized as "any typical year end audit adjustments" by the City's Finance Director.

I'm not sure how a Ford Ranch carryover is a typical year end adjustment as the city bought the ranch in November 2016.  That's after the start of the 2106-2017 fiscal year which ended 9-30-17.

City staff did not supply this information to Council and elected officials did not inquire when provided the opportunity.  Given the public's longstanding concern about water rates one might expect staff and council to be proactively transparent in the use of water funds.

Citizens can see the math.  The water fund increased $6.1 million in the last fiscal year, much of it due to our paying our water bills.  Most of that increase, $5.9 million, came in the last five months May, June, July, August and September.  

Another surprise is the city has additional accounting periods for the fiscal year ended 9-30-17.  This document shows a period 13 and period 14.  These year end close financial statements are not shared with City Council or the public.  How can elected officials or the public be aware of important information if it isn't shared?  They have to ask.

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