Saturday, March 28, 2015

Now I understand _ part.01

My car insurance increased when I moved from Lyndon to Old Louisville because Old Louisville is mas risky.

My car insurance increased again when I moved for Old Louisville to West Buechel because West Buechel is full of politicians who like to increase taxes.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

This has been my best birthday this year, so far.

Just wait until my July birthday.

That will bee a birthday party of historic proportions.

Everyone is invited. It's July 4. Mark your calendar.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

This must change

The old car had a busted driver's side window covered with plastic and duct tape. The woman driver was about 87 years old and hobbled along with a walker, like her automobile hobbled along with a plastic covered window. When the window got busted, the old woman's handicapped parking placard got knocked off the rear view mirror.

The old woman didn't notice that her ticket to park was on the floor.

When West Buechel's excellent and effective Code Enforcement Officers detected this crime, the old woman was gone. She had parked her car in the handicapped spot and went into the store. All the Code Enforcement Officers had was an empty car parked in a handicapped spot. Without the placard on display, it was a civil infraction and a civil fine.

When the 87 year old woman struggled to walk into City Hall to pay her $25 fine for having bad luck, Joe nearly cried at the shame of West Buechel for allowing this to happen.

I have to agree with Joe that this is not right, and it should change.

I do not agree with Joe that it was the Code Enforcement Officer's fault for doing mean things to old women.

There was no old woman in the parked car when the Code Enforcement Officer came by, and the car wasn't talking. You can't expect Code Enforcement Officers to wait around to see who shows up to get into the parked car. That would be silly.

I do think it is a problem that can be fixed, and it should be fixed. 


   

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Procurement policies

The State Auditor's office has requested all City procurement policies and procedure for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. The best I can come up with is that former Mayor Fowler's procurement policiy was that she bought what she wanted and her procedures were to be well-fed and comfy when she bought it online.

What Mayor Fowler got right.

West Buechel City Hall is haunted. Former Mayor Sharon Fowler knew it, I know it and Sherri suspects it.

It's hard to explain, but I have personally seen the works of some very strange spirits in West Buechel City Hall  these last few months. Is anyone up for an exorcism?


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Too screwed up to audit

According to WHAS 11, Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen has described the financial practices of the city of West Buechel as "astounding and highly irregular." The state audit has been suspended because the financial records of the Fowler administration are screwed up beyond belief. In short, the City of West Buechel does not have financial statements to audit.




Pulling the ripcord is always an option

Portability of residence is an under-appreciated virtue.

Twenty-five years ago when I was married to my first wife I realized one day that my first wife had arranged for the purchase of life insurance, on me, that made me worth more dead than alive, and it sincerely scared me. Seriously.

So, I cancelled the insurance, moved out and we got a divorce.

There was no up-side to living with a woman who genuinely want me dead, so I pulled the ripcord.
  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bookkeeping magicians need not apply

The mathematical skills of a bookkeeper's job are basic.. It's simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions and percentages, and that's about it. The bookkeeping  job applicant must have an ability to know the difference between "money in" and "money out."

Then, the bookkeeper must write it all down every day and balance it every month. Every "money in" transaction must be recorded. Every "money out" transaction must be recorded. There are no known exceptions to this.

That part is not hard.

That part is boring.

That part is absolutely freaking necessary and honesty with accuracy are essential.

The ability to recognize mistakes . . . the ability to admit to and to correct mistakes . . . is fundamental.

Bookkeepers who try to bury the shit in public are feral and need to be neutered.

Knowledge of computers and their uses is required.

Bookkeeping magicians, tricksters, jokers, slackers and slobs need not apply





 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

West Buechel's cop patch collection

In the West Buchel Police Department on the second floor of City Hall. It could be a tourist attraction.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

John R. Kelly - problem child

(LOUISVILLE, April 26th, 2005) -- Louisville Metro Police Officer John Kelly is on paid administrative leave after he allegedly crashed his police cruiser while driving drunk off duty last week. And it's not the first time he's been in trouble as a police officer. As WAVE 3 Investigator James Zambroski reports, Kelly has been a discipline problem for years but the department has been unable to fire him. Kelly has been suspended without pay eight times in his 14-year career with the department. . . . . (read more on WAVE3.com)

Also, from the Louisville Metro Police Department website:

November 9, 2005
"Metro Police Chief Robert White terminated Officer John R. Kelly for violating three department rules by driving his cruiser on April 21 after drinking two glasses of vodka and taking Ambien, a prescription sleeping pill. 

"Kelly, 40, was arrested that day after he rear-ended a vehicle carrying two people at Cane Run and Camp Ground roads, and then drove into a ditch. He was charged with DUI and refusing to take a blood-alcohol test."
(read more from LMPD here)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

John Kelly sues West Buechel

According to a story on WHAS TV, John Kelly has filed a civil action against the City of West Buechel "to get his job back" with the West Buechel Police Department. Apparently, the civil complaint filed in John Kelly vs. City of West Buechel, et al., cause number 15-CI-000812, alleged that Kelly was fired from the West Buechel Police Department "because he had incriminating information about city officials."

There's no point in asking City officials about it. The answer, quite properly, will be "no comment."

But, it's a stupid lawsuit. If Kelly cannot produce some incriminating evidence that everyone doesn't already know about, he's screwed.

If he can produce incriminating evidence but he's been sitting on it, he's screwed It's very un-cop like behavior.



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Ethics and sidewalks: Tonight's meeting agenda

West Buechel's City Council meeting tonight will examine the rotting corpse of the City's Ethics Board and the sidewalks that were supposed to go in eight years ago but didn't, because . . .  Sharon Fowler had a panic attack and couldn't cope?

So, what passes for "new business" is really very old business.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Eight years of bad bookkeeping

But . . . it's AUDITED bad bookkeeping!

BFD. Garbage in = Garbage out.

If you like fairy tales, this is for you.

West Buechel's independently audited financial statements.
Fiscal year July 1 to June 30

  1. Fiscal year 2006-2007
  2. Fiscal year 2007-2008
  3. Fiscal year 2008-2009
  4. Fiscal year 2009-2010
  5. Fiscal year 2010-2011
  6. Fiscal year 2011-2012
  7. Fiscal year 2012-2013
  8. Fiscal year 2013-2014

Scammer alert from the West Buechel Police Department

Citizen Scam Alert
Monday, March 9, 2015

Defendant has multiple addresses including in the Fairdale and Lexington areas.  Scammer uses the name of “Mike” or “Michael” Jarvis and is operating under the business name of Jarvis Heating and Cooling, LLC.  Scammer is going around Louisville presenting himself as a legitimate businessman in order to gain elderly victims’ trust.  James “Michael” Jarvis then asks the elder victims for a large upfront payment.  Scammer then never returns to complete any of the work.

Be careful out there.

from: West Buechel Police Department Facebook page

Sign up for alerts from the
West Buechel Police Department.
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

54 days until the UFIR is due

KRS 65.905(4) requires West Buechel, most likely, to submit a Uniform Financial Information Report (UFIR) for the fiscal year (FY) ended June 30, 2014. This UFIR goes to the Kentucky Department for Local Government (DLG) and it is due on or before May 1, 2015.

I can hardly wait to see it.

Also, I'll probably make an Open Records Request of the Kentucky Department for Local Government for copies of each UFIR filed by the City of West Buechel for the last seven or eight years and compare them to the City's audited financial statements . . . just for fun.

The secret to black cat photography.

All you need is a foot of snow.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

99 bottles of beer on the wall

The minutes for the January 4, 2011 regular meeting of West Buechel's City Council are now published online. The link for these minutes, and ultimately all of 2011 through 2014, can be found on the new WB Council minutes page.

Take one down and pass it around.

98 bottles of beer on the wall.

Budget basics: The problem with sidewalk projects

It seems that nearly everyone wants the drainage/sidewalk project completed. Fortunately, there is money enough to get it done, especially with Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) paying a large part of the cost.

Well, not exactly.

When I look at my Louisville Water bill, I see that I'm paying for the drainage part of it, and so are you.

The only real problem with the sidewalk project is that it is not a drainage project. A drainage project is not a sidewalk project and a sidewalk project is not a drainage project. They are two distinctly different, although related, types of projects. MSD does NOT pay for sidewalks.

There is nothing in the current City of West Buechel budget allocating any money for the construction of sidewalks. Ever since Mayor Richards conceived the project in 2003 and got it half done before former Mayor Fowler killed it, it has been called the "Sidewalk/Drainage" project.


The current West Buechel operating budget, dating from 2012, provides $100,000 for drainage, but nothing for sidewalks.


 


This project has been on hold for eight years. The engineering report was written twelve years ago. It is now time for the City Council to budget some money for sidewalks and get this train back on its track.You cannot take the money budgeted for drainage and spend it on sidewalks.

Budget basics: There are no roll-over minutes

Sometime in the last week someone said to me, "If $100,000 per year was budgeted for West Buechel drainage projects for seven years and the money was never spent, that means there is now $700,000 now available for drainage projects."

No.

That's not the way budgets work. If budgeted amounts are not expended before the end of the fiscal budget year, I hope the money is still in the bank. But, that money is no longer in the budget unless the new budget says otherwise.

Think of a household budget.

If you budget $1,800 per year for gas and electric but you actually spend only $1,500 and you have $300 left over, does that mean you spend $2,100 for gas and electric the next year?

No.

It means you spend the extra $300 on something else or you add the $300 to your savings account.

A city with an annual budget the size of West Buechel's should have an established written policy for how to deal with budget surpluses at the end of the year, everyone should know what that policy is and they should insist the Mayor and City Council obey. Or else..

I bet a dozen chocolate covered donuts from Heitzman's that West Buechel does not now have and never did have such an established written government policy concerning budget surpluses.

Let's come up with one.

 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kentucky's Rainy Day Fund - Budget Basics

"Kentucky has a "rainy day fund" that is used as a resource during difficult fiscal times. It is a fund created by state law and is referred to as the Budget Reserve Trust Fund. That state law allows the amount of the Budget Reserve Trust Fund to accumulate to five percent of annual General fund revenues.

"The Budget Reserve Trust Fund usually receives its deposits from surplus funds at the end of a fiscal year. This represents either greater General Fund tax revenues than anticipated or unspent General Fund expenditures. The Legislature may also direct funds to the Budget Reserve Trust Fund through the appropriation bills it passes.

"The most common use of the Budget Reserve Trust Fund has been to help keep the state's budget balanced when tax revenues are less than anticipated. There also have been times when the Legislature chooses to use the Budget Reserve Trust Fund to finance general spending through the budget bills it passes.

"The Budget Reserve Trust Fund was first established in 1988 with an appropriation by the Legislature of $2 million. It grew to a balance of $279 million in 2001. To contend with revenue shortfalls from the recession in the early 2000's the Fund was fully depleted by the end of 2002. During the five year period ending in 2007, the Fund was replenished to a balance of $231 million, mostly from the deposits of a portion of year-end surpluses. That balance was drawn down to $0 during the 2008-2010 recessionary period to prevent significant cutbacks to education and other critical services. A surplus in the General Fund at the end of fiscal year 2011 enabled about $122 million to be deposited; gaining back nearly half of the Fund's pre-recession balance"
Kentucky's Transparency Portal

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Need help finding legal authority

If a Kentucky mayor has ever faced criminal charges for handing out generous employee bonuses without city council authorization, I have not found it.

Where I come from, employee bonuses are a good thing and nobody goes to jail for being generous.