Letter to Editor re: SOFI, Part 2

The Tumbler Ridge News of July 14, 2016 article of Statement of Financial Earnings by Trent Ernst was troubling to our group that we have responded to a number of the statements.

“This was due to the staff member usually tasked with constructing the SOFI being away and the data subsequently being pulled from the incorrect source. “

This statement is wrong. There was no need to mention that a staff member was away. The chain of accountability starts with the Chief Financial Officer ( CFO); he takes responsibility for the errors and reports to the Chief Administrative Officer ( CAO). The CAO apologizes to Mayor and Council for the errors. This is why we pay the CAO $90,820.71 a year and the CFO $100,164.39 a year.

“It wasn’t the only mistake … “ or “This led to a number of inaccuracies … “

The better part of the Schedule of Remuneration and Expenses 2014 was wrong, out of approximately 130 entries, eight entries were correct.

One entire line in the Schedule, Wages less than $75,000 was copied from the previous SOFI 2013.

In the original SOFI Report – 2014, the Councillors Expenses were under reported by approximately $60,000.

In the original SOFI Report-2014, the Employees Expenses were under reported by approximately $23,000.

“This led to a number of inaccuracies, the most notable of which was the fact that then Mayor Darwin Wren ‘s expenses had been listed under “contractors, “… “

Our group requested the individual records for the contractor Darwin Wren in the years of 2014 and 2012.

The information we received from townhall did not match the numbers in the 2014 and 2012 SOFI Reports. This is why we started asking questions. So now we know that the information we received under FOI request is inaccurate. Why doesn’t Townhall give us the correct information we requested in January? (Seven months). Townhall needs to honour the FOI request for the individual records for the contractor Darwin Wren in the years of 2014 and 2012.

“Wall says administration has made multiple offers to meet with Holmlund to explain these matters. However, say Wall, she has “on each occasion rejected or ignored these offers”

Our original FOI request was submitted January 5, 2016.

February 16 we sent a letter to Mayor and Council and the CAO, regarding the conflicting information we received.

March 11 we sent another letter to Mayor and Council and CAO, and Minister Fassbender.

Mr. Wall did not contact our group until late April.

Mr. Wall did request a meeting with our group; we saw no need for discussing the issue. We have written letters requesting the information, written letters speaking of the inaccuracies in the report. Townhall has ignored our questions and have not sent any correspondence regarding the issues. We want Townhall to honour our request: the individual records for the contractor Darwin Wren in the years of 2014 and 2012.

Mr. Wall, at the council meeting of June thanked our group for catching the mistakes, in July he made statements in the newspaper, all statements are smoke and mirrors deflecting attention away from the fact that the original FOI request has not been honoured.

As group we are troubled by the attitude at Townhall, we want Townhall to remember the reason everyone in Townhall has a job is because we are living here. We can ask questions, and we deserve respect. The article in the Tumbler Ridge News was disrespectful to our group with the intent to discredit our group. An apology would be accepted.

George White

Kees Vandeburgt

Brenda Holmlund

Bernie Lehmann

Kevin Trudeau

Roy Osbourne