Oxnard Treasurer wants prior council review of accounts payable disbursements
So, here is a list GM348U GMCHECKS 2017-02-16 FNMACR (1) GM348U GMCHECKS 2017-02-16 FNMACR (1) of Oxnard’s near-term accounts payable “warrants” (as opposed to checks. Do you know the difference*?). So, why is this even “news” today?
Well, for one thing, the City’s tight financial situation means that these are being watched more closely than they were in the past. Councilman Bert Perello thinks warrants should be reviewed at each Council meeting. So does Treasurer Phil Molina. He also says that the Council actually has a legal responsibility to do so, unless these are covered by the CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) and there is a clean audit, which is definitely not the case in Oxnard). But not Mayor Flynn, who makes a case that it is “micromanagement,” that it shows a lack of trust in City staff and shifts attention away from policy-making, which he believes is the Council’s main mission. Not so either for the City Attorney, who we are told by Molina, believes that there are confidentiality issues and opines that state law doesn’t mandate a clean CAFR.
So these are the two competing cases on the matter. I’m sure there are far more details- and the devil is in the details. We’re not lawyers or financial experts, so we’ll let them fight it out and hope that the best interests of the people are ultimately served.
We asked Mr. Molina to substantiate his position and he sent the following:
Except as provided in Section 37208, the legislative body shall approve or reject demands only after such demands have been audited in the manner prescribed by ordinance or resolution. Such audited demands may be submitted separately or a register of audited demands may be submitted to the legislative body for approval or rejection and shall have attached thereto the affidavit of the officer submitting the demands certifying as to the accuracy of the demands and the availability of funds for payment thereof.
(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 261.)
We’ll run an opinion here from the City Attorney’s office if we hear from them.
- Article coming out soon which will address this, among other things