Newspaper Archive of
The Superior Sun
Kearny, Arizona
October 26, 2011     The Superior Sun
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October 26, 2011

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Page 4 Superior Sun, Superior, Arizona October 26, 2011 Letter to the Editor: time fo-r a change Editor, Superior Sun: As a former Council Member, I understand the importance of performing annual financial audits on time. The Auditor General's office mandates that governmental audits be performed no later than four months after the close of the fiscal year. Superior's" fiscal year-end is June 30, so audits should be done by the end of October each year. Yesterday, there was a Council work session that addressed several fiscal management problems that have arisen from other external audits--namely, Pinal County Excise Tax/ Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) expenditures that may have been "inadvertently" loaned to the General Fund for use; and the Pinal County Sales Tax that was "inadvertently" paid tothe Town but needs to be refunded. These "refunds" will cost the Town between $150,000 to $300,000 o/" more. Had independent financial audits been performed as required by the Auditor General's office each year, these issues would have been identified and addressed immediately! Although the Mayor and staff indicate they are performing these past due audits "simultaneously," only limited information has been released to the public, by the Mayor and staff regarding the status of the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 audits. The last update from finance department staff indicated that the 2008-09 financial audit was still in progress with no firm date for final presentation'to the Council. During the budget presentation for this fiscal year. actual 2010- 11 expenditures were not identified on the prescribed budget forms. It seems that the Mayor and Manager , are unable or unwilling to be accountable and provide accurate and timely financial information for the Council and citizens to be well informed. Problem after problem has been identified that cause a penalty and a payback of Town monies (not paying Federal taxes, medical insurance premmms, child support payments or garnishment payments as required by law). Existing loan payments need to be deferred. Public fees are implemented and some existing fees are raised to "balance our budget." The burden for balancing the budget and paying for these mistakes has been shifted to the you, the taxpayer. Honestly, this isn't a revenue problem--it is a spending problem; and if we don't put a stop to this mismanagement, things will only get worse for Superior. I see this as a direct responsibility of our current Mayor and his leadership (or lack of leadership) of the Council, the Town staff and the community as a whole. And, as "an elected official, this is a dereliction of duty. The Mayor isn't fixing any of these problems because he doesn't know what to do. A real leader is a good cheerleader for the community and brings people together to celebrate successes, resolve weaknesses and discuss goals. We need a Mayor that will galvanize and stimulate the Council, staff and community with a positive vision and leadership qualities. We need to increase direct revenue generation and creatively reduce costs and expenses. We freed to stop balancing our budget on the backs of our citizens--already challenged by our severe economic downtrend. We needstaff that is knowledgeable,: inspired, motivated by performance and dedicated to the community's best interest. Staffneeds to be accountable so that problems are identified and addressed before we have to pay penalties and suffer greater Correction In last week's Sun, it was save the Superior School reported that the Energy District and its taxpayers. Program with APS would $28,000. This was reported financial loss. That's why I support Jayme Valenzuela. I think that Jayme will take the office of Mayor seriously. He will give us straight talk about what is happening and will be transparent about our strengths and weaknesses. I see him excited and focused about the tasks ahead of our Town and ready for the challenge. He will assist the Council, staff and community to feel unified and in control. I encourage you to VOTE for Jayme Valenzuela for Mayor in the November 8, 2011 election. Sincerely, . Is/Henry Munoz Superior in error. The actual savings are $128,000. The Sun regrets the error. 3rd Annual Wall of Success