- Finance Director (MacDonald) Roberts resigned before 2019-2020 books were closed,
- There has been no Finance Director on the job for at least 4 months. WHY?
- An accounting firm was hired to close out last biennium’s books. WHY?
- An independent CPA firm has been hired to review and analyze the city finances. WHY?
- The city seeks the 4th Finance Director during Foster’s almost 5 years as mayor. WHY?
- Yelm is operating without a council Adopted (final) 2021-2022 Budget. WHY?
- These are serious issues requiring Mayor Foster’s oft-touted transparency, which is lacking here!
- Editor’s note: While researching the story about the city’s L.I.D. acquisition of 640 acres and debt, I sought the actual budgeted debt’s line items from the city’s currently approved budget. Yet I could only locate the city’s Proposed Biennial Budget and Budget Amendment on their website, rather than the listing of the officially adopted budget.
- I wrote to city hall requesting the 2021-2022 Adopted (Final) City of Yelm Budget document.
- The response: The 2021-2022 budget will only be posted once a new Finance Director is “on board….” Really?
- Yelm Council’s must first publicly approve the 2021-2022 Adopted (Final) City of Yelm Budget.
- What in the Sam Hill is going on at city hall with the management of the Finance Department?
The City of Yelm is operating without an Adopted, Final 2021-2022 Budget
- The city clerk referenced me to the 2021-2022 Proposed Budget on the city’s website, and the 2020 amended budget numbers that were adopted and included in the council packet and minutes from the December 15, 2020 city council meeting.
- Those were not sought, which I had seen prior to writing city hall. I requested the final 2021-2022 budget!
- I was further informed of the following:
- “We’ve hired an independent CPA firm to review and analyze the city finances. They will be providing information to the Council Finance Committee very soon. We’re also in the process of hiring a Finance Director and the final 2021-2022 budget will be posted once they are on board and have had the opportunity to look it over and make sure it’s complete and accurate.”
- This is very disconcerting as the city is operating without a 2021-2022 approved budget!
- Also, the city administrator informed the council 2 months ago an interim Finance Director would be hired until a replacement had been chosen. What happened with that?
An independent CPA firm has been hired to analyze city finances
- What led the city to hire an independent CPA firm to review and analyze the city finances? A brief history:
- Beginning in 2015, Finance Director Noah Crocker spent one year under Mayor Harding and one year under Mayor Foster, before he took another position elsewhere. Joe Wolfe was hired as Finance Director in latter 2017.
- With Wolfe at the helm, the City of Yelm earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for the first time.
- Wolfe was commended on this blog April 2, 2019 and by the City of Yelm in a news release March 13, 2019, after achieving the designation of a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).
- In April 2019, Wolfe was the recipient of an employee’s unsubstantiated accusations, deemed non-conclusive by an independent investigator, though prior to the investigation’s conclusion, the city suggested he would be best to leave.
- Wolfe’s replacement in July 2019 was the city’s senior accountant, Heidi MacDonald. She was hired on an interim basis, then made permanent Finance Director until January 2021.
- Heidi (MacDonald) Roberts reportedly had a personal family issue in December requiring her to miss several weeks. She never returned to public view.
- She did not attend the December 15, 2020 council session (start at 33:00), where the 2020 amended budget numbers were adopted (i.e. $456,205 expended for the L.I.D.).
- (MacDonald) Roberts did not attend the January council meetings, as well.
- The January 26, 2021 Council Agenda had a closed to the public Executive Session to review the performance of a public employee, which obviously was Heidi (MacDonald) Roberts.
- I wrote City Administrator Graham on February 17 asking if Ms. Roberts resigned, and he said yes.
- Graham added: “We’ve hired an accounting firm to help us close out the books for the last biennium. We are working to bring on an interim director from outside the city and are updating the job description for posting in the near future. Please stay tuned.”
- The Finance Director opening posted in March, is now removed, so the city must have made a selection, the 4th Finance Director under Foster within 5 years.
- We are ending the first 3rd of 2021 this week, and none of these issues have been publicly resolved.
- An accounting firm hired to close out the last biennium’s books, as the Finance Director “resigned.”
- The city seeks the 4th Finance Director during Foster’s almost 5 years in office.
- The Finance Director opening appeared in mid-March, and is now removed.
- There has been no Finance Director on the job for at least 4 months now.
- An independent CPA firm has now been hired to review and analyze the city finances.
- The city is operating without a council-approved Adopted (final) 2021-2022 budget.
- These are serious issues requiring Mayor Foster’s oft-touted transparency, lacking here!