REGULAR MEETING OF
THE TOWN OF MIAMI MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Monday August 10, 2015 6:30 PM Sullivan St.
Two job openings were mentioned at last night's Regular
Meeting of the Town of Miami Mayor and Council. One is
the replacement for Wes Sukowsky's position as head of
Public Works. The other is for a finance director, as Rachelle
Sanchez is no longer with the Town.
Finance related issues are the Town's most pressing concern.
A financial consultant, Pat Walker, was hired three weeks
ago to help sort out the mess. Walker, who has 38 years of
experience in public finance, began working for the city of
Chandler at 18 and retired as CFO. She's currently working
with the towns of Mammoth, Kearny and Young. She
appeared at the meeting to impress upon the Council the
importance of hiring someone who was up to the task of
managing the Town's finances, the foundation of any town,
she said. The general ledger should be a blueprint. But in
Miami, that's impossible as records are not revealing and
bank statements are not reconciled. Therefore the audits are
really reviews based on opinions. Walker believes that will
also be the case for Fiscal Year 2014-15, but she says for
2015-16, it's imperative that getting it right be a priority, not
only so the Town can make solid financial decisions, but also
to avoid having the auditor general stepping in and taking
over. The solution said Walker, who makes $125 an hour for
her services, is hiring a really good finance director.
What we need, we can't afford said Councilmember
Rosemary Castaneda. Town Manager Joe Heatherly
concurred with Walker that the ultimate goal is to have true
financial data so the town is not guessing. A problem that
plagued Sanchez, was that she was unable to reconcile data
from one computer system to another in house. Heatherly
said that issue has been corrected.
Heatherly updated the Council on what's needed for the
USDA to restart the sewer project. The necessary audit for
Fiscal Year 2012-13 should be completed within a few
weeks. And paperwork is being readied for the previously
announced sale of three properties. Once funds are received,
they will fulfill the project's reserve requirements. As soon
as all the pieces are together, a meeting with the USDA will
Heatherly told the Council that he believes Fiscal Year
2014-15 can be clean audit, not an opinion, as records are
available to do that. He reported that the garbage truck
acquired through an IGA with Globe broke down after a day
and a half on the job. It's out being fixed, but should be back
by the end of the week. And he updated the Council on his
findings on their request that he investigate possible
employee training programs for Town staff. He said Globe
participates in a CAG program for employee development
that they like, and there is an online program from Southwest
Risk, the Town's insurance company. No decisions were
made. The Council recessed for Executive Session at the
end of the meeting to discuss Heatherly's performance,
which has been the subject of employee complaints.
Sammy Gonzales was chosen to sit on the Transit Advisory
Council for the Cobre Valley Community Transit program.
Angel Medina was named alternate.
The Miami Libaray had 640 walk-ins for July, 128
borrowers and $1500 in donations for the summer reading
program. The Friends of the Library donated $224 in books.
Chief Scott Gillen gave the police report for July: 17,000
miles patrolled, 374 calls for service, 58 citations, 19 adult
arrests, three juvenile arrests, 20 residential watches, three
burglaries, seven thefts, and 27 domestic disturbances. There
were 23 911 calls (15 of which were medical), one drug
related arrest, four DUIs, one stolen vehicle (which was
recovered), 16 juvenile incidents, 9 civil matters, 25 animal
calls and two missing persons (who were both found).
Town Engineer Paul Curzon gave the Public Works report.
The ADOT signs have arrived. The Vandal Bash at the pool
was a success- the joint venture between the Town and
Miami High drew 400 people. And Back To School At The
Pool was a hit, even though it had been delayed a week
awaiting a pump installation.
The decision whether Miami should join in an IGA with Gila
County for animal control services was tabled.