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City Manager Responds to State Audit of Hercules Finances

Steve Duran said city has cleaned up accounting practices and met requests for information.

Hercules City Manager Steve Duran has answered the findings of a released by the state controllers office on Wednesday. He said the city has been cooperative with state request for information in an atmosphere of city layoffs, lawsuits and various investigations into city fiscal affairs.

Duran's response came in reply to a request for comment by the Contra Costa Times and it was sent also to Patch. This is Duran's reply:

I don’t have any issues with the 2009-2010 findings. It  confirms what I have been finding since I got here last October. The only bone I have to pick is that I do not think our staff was uncooperative in the first seven months of the audit; they were simply overwhelmed with layoffs, investigations, lawsuits, etc. Since we brought on Nickie Mastay as Director of Finance in March, she along with Liz Warmerdam, Doreen Mathews, our staff and community volunteers have cleaned up the accounting and other records. This enabled the Caltrans auditors, which followed the Controller’s Office, to find that we are quite capable of managing state and federal grants. That led to almost $10 million in funding for the Intermodal Transportation Center project. 

The books being in good order is a big positive. We have come a long way in a short time; but we have much further to go before the City can be considered financially strong. We have to complete the sale of the properties under contract and get retail development going on Sycamore Crossing with Safeway and also on Market Hall when the owner settles on a developer. We also need to make sure that we stay focused on the City’s finances as our number one priority.

Susan D.Keeffe September 18, 2012 at 07:03 AM
G.C. Sherry McCoy and Phil Simmons also received the Democratic party endorsement and the same letter. But they didn't send it to anyone to post here. How did you get it and were you asked to post it? Just askin....
Susan D.Keeffe September 18, 2012 at 07:16 AM
G.C. You should have come to the last meeting and you would have found out! The officers were elected the second meeting. And the draft by-laws reviewed at the last meeting. So far a Democratic party rep has participated as consultant and offered guidance. Please come to the next meeting!
Giorgio C. September 18, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Thanks, Toni. There was no press release. Councilman Wilkins seemed to be complaining about not being included in the process early on. This is the list of steps from the provided plan: Four weeks before meeting: Review and submit press releases. (Use attached sample) List of local newspapers and submission deadlines. Find out if free section for community events, if not, cost of small ad? $ _____________ List of local weekly/monthly magazines/newspapers and submission deadlines. List of local legislators/guests. (Use attached worksheet) Send invitations to local legislators/guests. (Use attached sample) Invite county DCC chair. Design and make copies of flyer. (Use attached sample) Confirm venue. Order food. Develop meeting agenda and send out. (Use attached sample) Make copies of agenda. Have camera ready/charged and someone to take pictures.
Susan D.Keeffe September 18, 2012 at 02:47 PM
G.C. Oh, for heaven's sakes. If you would like to participate and help plan, please do so. As the club has so few funds, Manny is still working out the meeting venue. I will be sure to post the when/where here for you and send you a private email so you won't miss like you did last time. In the meantime, lets move past the sour grapes. I personally think its great our little City now has a Democratic Club, even if it is just in he fledgling state. It will grow and it will get better.
Glenn Abraham September 23, 2012 at 07:45 PM
When Dean Fukima first put on his frilly dress and posted here as Shannon S., (s)he said: Shannon S. 5:56 pm on Thursday, September 13, 2012 "I'm a recent homeowner in Hercules and have been met wonderful people in a great town. Since I've been here (now three months in),…." Recent homeowner? Three months in? Sweet Dean, were you lying? After criticizing others for “dirty campaign shenanigans”?

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