That was one among many questions posed to City Council members Monday night by government hawk John Marshall Lee.
Less than two months ago, the Assistant City Clerk wrote a letter to three members of the November 2017 City Council informing them of the approved resolution requiring that “all officers of the city, elected or appointed under the provisions of the charter, shall be residents and registered voters of the City of Bridgeport …” and “are required to provide their current residence street address (or any change) by January 31st of each year. That date passed last week. I checked with the Town Clerk office.
The Town Clerk has a copy of the December 2017 letter from Assistant City Clerk Ortiz to Council persons Michelle Lyons and former members Bukovsky and Burns. An Application for Residency Reporting has been prepared with City Attorney assistance.
At the moment I have been informed that no one has come forward during the month of January to “provide true and accurate information” of their address as well as proof of residence. New law? No notice? People with too much to do? Perhaps a part of your sub-committee oversight of Approval of Mayoral appointments might get your clerk to put out such notice to all members of Boards and Commissions? Alternatively Angel DePara may have some idea on how to expedite the process by providing notice to those who are covered by the residency reporting resolution? Will you take part in this critical oversight? I have formerly mentioned an important City commission that has some longstanding confusion as to whether a President of that body resides and votes within the boundaries of the City of Bridgeport. Trust our rules and live up to them?
What about our City financial reports? Do you trust the numbers that come to you monthly with full revenue reporting but summarized expenses by category? I have asked in past years for a final June 30, 201? Report for a completed year. Not the one sent out on the fourth Friday of the month of July because the City and auditors are in a dance in those times preparing the books for the annual audit and that includes changes in posting of revenues or expenses from one year to another for instance. So the August report of June 30 will show both revenue and appropriation totals different from what will appear in the CAFR six months later. But will you get such a copy automatically, with all of the expense fields identified by line item? Not automatically. And it is important, because the exact ACTUAL expenses are what you will need to understand when you get to budgeting. And if you have a listing with two or three years of Audited and Actual you can see trends in increasing expenses and ask WHY?
My point this evening is that the ACTUAL 2017 REVENUES and EXPENDITURES for FY 2017 completed June 30, 2017 seemed to change between the November and December FY 2018 monthly reports. Did you catch the discrepancy? And if you did was there an explanation in the narrative to inform you?
2017 Actual Revenue (NOV)
– Less Expense
2017 Actual Revenue (DEC)
– less Expense
Good news, yes. But confusing perhaps without narrative? And how do we increase revenues and decrease expenses five months after the close of a Fiscal Year? If we wait another month or two, will those numbers improve again? Show us how to do that, Chief Finance Officer.
More importantly, how did we lose an additional $1.2 of revenue between November and December while expenses increased almost $1.9 Million? Last year results look positive, but this year’s get worse, but no one has bragged about the Surplus, though Ken Flatto called it $4.6 Million in the CAFR letter. And now it has increased to $5.5 Million surplus??
Take a good look at the expense projections in November for Full Time personnel and fringe benefits specifically. Then December. Look at the projected expense variances pointing to employee freeze on pay and benefits. How did such surplus get put into the current year numbers? Do you know how many full-time employees are getting paid in the City today based on FY 2018 budgets? Isn’t that your responsibility? Show the taxpayers the numbers, please. Time will tell.