Finance Committee to take up Section 908 – will Jennifer Hennessy do her job? What does the new city manager think?

27 Aug

I don’t know how many people are available for an 8am meeting Downtown, but tomorrow morning the Finance Committee will take up the issue of Jennifer Hennessy not complying with Section 908 of the Chico City Code. 

908 says that the Finance Director is supposed to give a current update regarding our budget, just like you do every month with your check book. You see what you’ve taken in, and you see what’s gone out. It should all be there, so you don’t get in trouble with your finances! Heck! You wouldn’t want to write rubber checks – Mike Ramsey will slap you in jail for that! 

The city of Chico is in a deep amount of deficit-doo right now because Hennessy hasn’t been making these reports. The only reports she will make are “after the fact” – by the time she tells us anything, we’re already in trouble. And the reports she gives are never clear – she spends hours on these ridiculous “power point presentations,” with little cartoon figures and charts and graphs, without ever really telling us exactly how much money has come in and where it’s gone. We just see budgets – like Scott Gruendl said, “budgets are a fairy tale…”. They’re speculative, imagined, hoped-for,  but rarely achieved. And Hennessy announces so many budget changes due to “unexpected downturns” that it’s hardly worth the paper to even write the damned things. 

I’d frankly rather have a neat little accounting of what she’s taken in for each fund every month, and what’s  she’s spent. She won’t give us these details – leaving a suspicious person to speculate that she is doing something inappropriate with the money. 

The state parks department was funneling money into a secret fund that was being used to buy state worker’s unused vacation time. I’m sorry, but until Hennessy tells us what’s going on, I’m a suspicious person.

So, if you have the time tomorrow morning, that’s 8am, at City Hall, in the little conference room off the main chamber. There’s speculation that new city manager Brian Nakamura will make an appearance, I’ll keep you posted. I can only stay half an hour cause I got a dentist appointment. Yeah, I saw Marathon Man too, Stop It! 

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