…. WHEN A GOOD INTENTION BECOMES CORRUPTED
To my mind, there is little question that the original plan to resort to citizen “volunteers” to maintain Marna O’Brien Park, on behalf of the citizens of Wildomar, after the loss of funding for the ongoing park maintenance assessment, was well intentioned.
Unfortunately, the old axiom applies, in this case; “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
Yesterday, I received the documents requested in my latest Public Records Act request, and confirmed my earlier suspicions, to whit:
1) Diamond W Events Inc. check dated, January 03, 2013, issued in the amount of $399, payable to Friends For Wildomar Parks.
2) On February 20, 2013, City Manager Gary Nordquist received written confirmation from his former Community Services Manager, via e-mail (with attachment), that “the check” was returned.”
3) In addition, a personal check in the amount of $286 was issued by the former employee, and officially received by the City of Wildomar under Receipt Number 007147, dated February 11, 2013. (The $286 represents reimbursement for purchases, using a city-issued, and previously paid for, credit card).
4) Finally, a City of Wildomar check request, dated February 11, 2013, requesting issuance of a City check in the amount of $398.60, payable to Friends For Wildomar Parks, approved by Nordquist on February 26, 2013, with a handwritten cautionary notation on the top of the page, “do not mail. To be p/u by authorized personnel.”
After receiving and reviewing the aforementioned documentation, the focus of fiscal scrutiny should now properly shift to the Friends For Wildomar Parks, for the following reasons:
1) Who in the FFWP accepted a check from Diamond W Events, Inc. (a non-city private enterprise) for $399 in public funds generated by a city-sponsored fundraising event?
2) If the City of Wildomar will now only release the properly-accounted-for $399 to “authorized personnel,” what money-handling protocols are missing from the FFWP organization that permitted “un-authorized personnel” to previously accept a check on their behalf?
3) What money-handling protocols permit “unauthorized personnel” to hold a check for $399 for six weeks, without turning it over to the organization for deposit and recordation?
4) Who in the FFWP authorized the return of a check for $399 to the City of Wildomar?
As it stands now, we appear to have more (or at the very least, different) questions than answers.
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Disturbingly, the Chair (John Lloyd) and Vice-Chair (Kristen West) of the Wildomar Parks Citizens Oversight Committee were prominently affiliated with Friends For Wildomar Parks, rendering their capability of providing “oversight,” tenuous.