• December 9, 2016

Two residents picked for Killeen's audit committee

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Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 10:46 pm

Two Killeen residents were selected for appointment to the city’s audit committee, according to discussion at the City Council’s workshop meeting.

James “Jack” Ralston and Bob Blair made the shortlist, and would increase to five the number of people on the committee. The two were brought up by Councilman Jonathan Okray, who said that although he had not yet talked to them, “they would be more than willing to do this for the city.”

Mayor Jose Segarra, absent from this week’s meeting, mentioned the idea last week as a way to increase the city’s effort to be transparent. Ralston and Blair would sit alongside Mayor Jose Segarra, and councilmen Jonathan Okray and Juan Rivera, who are current committee members.

What the council didn’t discuss, was how to shape the scope of the audit so it focused on the recent problem years.

The request for qualifications was written to cover a nine-year period, which could dilute the focus of the audit, would cost extra money and could delay getting solid results in the process.

The request was written by outgoing City Auditor Amanda Wallace, who had been in her position during the problem years but had not raised any red flags.

Council members Shirley Fleming and Richard “Dick” Young last week said they were completely unaware it had been sent out.

Fleming said she was blindsided and upset that fiscal years 2006-2015 were in the request.

The time frame within the impending investigation can be narrowed, but releasing the RFQ with a nine-year range is potentially the most expensive, which could affect cost and effectiveness.

The council Tuesday, without discussing revising the audit plan, discussed forming an evaluation committee to review proposals by firms replying to the broad request for qualifications.

City Attorney Kathryn Davis said the council can narrow the scope of the audit later.

A decision was postponed to appoint residents to a separate evaluation committee, which will take a look at and rank potential auditing firms, at least until Segarra returns.

“I’m not prepared,” Councilman Jim Kilpatrick said. “This is the first time that I’ve seen this.”

In the meantime, council members will need to find one person each who is “qualified” to sit on the committee.

“The people evaluating these need to understand what it is that we’re asking for,” Davis said. “The people who are actually reviewing the (request for qualifications) need to ... it would be helpful if they actually understood what it is that they’re reviewing.”

The process will be time-consuming, and at 50-page limits on proposals, the material will be concentrated and technical, Davis said, adding that “it’s got to be someone who’s willing to commit that level of time.”

Council members were asked to phone in or have names ready by Monday, when the audit committee meets next.

The evaluation committee will get about a week and a half in November to make its determination. It will report back to the council Nov. 15 at a workshop meeting, and the selected firm will be announced Nov. 22.

Toward the end of the discussion, Councilman Juan Rivera prompted Mayor Pro Tem Brockley Moore to appoint three council members to the evaluation committee — Fleming, Kilpatrick and Young.

“Since I’m appointing you all, you heard the legal team say this stuff is confidential ... this is very sensitive information,” Moore said, and “not even your children” can know details of the behind-the-scenes work.

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2 comments:

  • Alvin posted at 8:45 am on Thu, Oct 20, 2016.

    Alvin Posts: 1074

    This is the personal opinion of this writer.
    This is a comment I had made on October 19, 2012, that is 'if you care to take note of it'.


    Friday October 19, 2012


    Well if this is the most pressing problem the city council can come up with, I feel sorry for the city and it's incumbents. I don't really care what the number of council persons are, or what the length of their terms are, or any other mundane grievances they think there are, when you consider the money that's being wasted. Whatever the term length, or number of councilmen/women who can possess a seat on the council, it pales in consideration to the empire building of some of the city officials who now hold office. Hundreds of thousands of dollars will flow out of the city funds from now on because of the actions of the few.

    This was a Facebook post of yesteryear.
    Just a comment of what I saw as the 'State of the City' back in 2012. How much change have you noted in the last 4 years?
    One of the 3% who voted.

     
  • Alvin posted at 7:59 am on Wed, Oct 19, 2016.

    Alvin Posts: 1074

    This is the personal opinion of this writer.
    To be representative of 'all of the citizens of killeen, we need to drop the names of mayor Segarra, councilman Rivera and councilman Okray from the audit committee itself'.
    I personally feel that 'this is a biased committee, that will be self indulgent as to what the real purpose of an sudit committee is all about'. The appointment by councilman Okray of committee members that would be 'in addition to', in my opinion, a move 'to dilute' this standing committee.
    In addition, the move by councilman Rivera also is a move to dilute the standing committee. Why does he continuously want to 'keep wanting to include the standing council members in another committee for goodness sake's? I say, 'move the standing committee members out and replace them.
    Copy: '“Since I’m appointing you all, you heard the legal team say this stuff is confidential ... this is very sensitive information,” Moore said, and “not even your children” can know details of the behind-the-scenes work.' end of copy.
    There now, you see 'it's done'. Councilman Rivera just finished the appointment list. And I fail to understand, 'Why the committee of members to be appointed to an audit committee 'is so secret in the first place'. Even your children are barred from 'knowing'. Why??? If the appointment to a committee to be formed to comprise 1 ) The RFP/RFQ cannot know what in the devil is to be placed in these 2 documents, and also to know 'what this audit company, to be named, conclusions are, and to find conclusions of this audit company are, 'what is so secret about the findings of any and all wrong doing that may or may not be present?' Why???
    Copy: 'Mayor Jose Segarra, absent from this week’s meeting, mentioned the idea last week as a way to increase the city’s effort to be transparent. Ralston and Blair would sit alongside Mayor Jose Segarra, and councilmen Jonathan Okray and Juan Rivera, who are current committee members.' End of copy.
    Now why I wonder does mayor Segarra mention the names of Ralston and Blair to be added to the committee that has Segarra, Rivera, and Okray, all 3 of the committee members who presently reside on that committee. This is his suggestion to 'making this committee more transparent? I personally don't think so. We have new blood on this committee, period.
    And I disagree with city attorney Kathy Davis, We can 'narrow the scope of the audit later.. No I still say, 'Go with the smaller concept first and then we can always enlarge the scope later, and 'The council'
    ??? Why does continually want to 'involve the council as the first step??? The council's job is to 'appoint individuals who they think will be the most effective for the city, agree and set the scope of the audit, and then step back and look to this committee to 'get the results'. This committee should 'appoint a spokes person who has the responsibility of reporting to the council on a periodic basis to be determined by this council. This council should 'stand back and look to this committee tp do it's job'.
    Go back to the concept of only 4 years are going to be included. Concentrate on, I suggest, 5 or 6 members at the most, look for people 'who are interested in the welfare of this city'.
    One of the 3% who voted.