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Topic: Province withholding Brandon's gastax funding!
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Abbysmum

7/12/2012 12:16:45 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:3226
Province withholding Brandon's gastax funding!

As I type this, I'm listening to Mr. Deveryn Ross talking to CBC Radio about how the province is withholding Brandon's gastax funding because the city has failed to file TWO YEARS worth of financial statements. It amounts to about 4% of the city budget that is being witheld!  
 
As someone whose taxes went up 20% this year, I have to say I'm (insert swear words here).

 
 
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Abbysmum

7/12/2012 12:33:35 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:3226
Yes

The city has not filed required reports 2 years in a row, citing excuses like the change in accounting (not preventing them from billing residents even though it's the same system) and the flood (none of the other municipalities equally effected by the flood have been late).  
 
It lots of money we're talking here. Millions. Apparently there's a piece in the Sun today? tomorrow? about it. I don't get the Sun so I don't know. Anyone have it?

Edited by admin, 2012-07-12 12:47:10. Reason: Removal of reference to since-deleted post

rusureuwantmyopinion?

7/12/2012 12:44:37 PM
Member since:
Feb 2012
Total posts:135
excuses...

Abbysmum said "
  
The city has not filed required reports 2 years in a row, citing excuses like the change in accounting (not preventing them from billing residents even though it's the same system) and the flood (none of the other municipalities equally effected by the flood have been late).  
 
It lots of money we're talking here. Millions. Apparently there's a piece in the Sun today? tomorrow? about it. I don't get the Sun so I don't know. Anyone have it? "

of course...blame it on the flood...that's getting a little old..and sickening...  
 
a change in accounting should have ZERO impact on producing required financial reports...  
 
if you didn't provide your reports that were due at work you could be fired...no? or fined if filed late on a personal level (i.e. income tax) ??

Adam

7/12/2012 12:51:24 PM
Member since:
Mar 2005
Total posts:15216
Free Press

Here is the piece being discussed regarding $2.65M thats currently being withheld:  
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/province-withholds-funds-from-tardy-brandon-162176935.html  
 
The lateness was touched on in a report to Council by Treasurer Dean Hammond at Monday's council meeting with the main reason given being conversion to a new operating system. That conversion was completed as of last month and the City is working to have the year ends completed by this fall. Hammond states that the Province is aware of Brandon's situation, understands reasons why Brandon is late and that the City is working with the Province to update constantly on progress.  
Presumably if the schedule is met we would then see the funds head our way and see them applied wherever they would be applied.  
 
Monday's council meeting... Hammond's report is right off of the start:  
http://www.ebrandon.ca/video.aspx?video_id=5875  

someguy

7/12/2012 1:04:10 PM
Member since:
May 2006
Total posts:353
Wow

Our mayor and council are a disgrace. Do none of them have a hot sniff of how to run our city? It seems that they are driving our city into the ground. It's embarrassing really.

Him

7/12/2012 1:07:15 PM
Member since:
Nov 2007
Total posts:110
Dear City of Brandon....

What are we paying the Mayor and Treasurer for again?  
 
Where was the city MANAGER in all of this? Was he not managing?  
 
New computer program and a flood. Wow. Come next year when the operating budget goes up again because we no longer have access to the gas tax, I guarantee I will be late and blame my computer and ground water seepage into my basement.  
 
I am sick to my stomach because of how ridiculous we look as a city AGAIN!  
 
Thanks to Deveryn Ross and the Winnipeg Free Press for informing me of what is happening at City Hall. No Brandon Sun to be seen on this one again. A couple of pictures of deer standing in fields and my horoscope...  
 
And to think Mayor Shari that you ran your campaign on transparency.

rusureuwantmyopinion?

7/12/2012 1:21:00 PM
Member since:
Feb 2012
Total posts:135
....

  
Him said "What are we paying the Mayor and Treasurer for again?  
 
Where was the city MANAGER in all of this? Was he not managing?  
 
New computer program and a flood. Wow. Come next year when the operating budget goes up again because we no longer have access to the gas tax, I guarantee I will be late and blame my computer and ground water seepage into my basement.  
 
I am sick to my stomach because of how ridiculous we look as a city AGAIN!  
 
Thanks to Deveryn Ross and the Winnipeg Free Press for informing me of what is happening at City Hall. No Brandon Sun to be seen on this one again. A couple of pictures of deer standing in fields and my horoscope...  
 
And to think Mayor Shari that you ran your campaign on transparency. "

We are a wannabe city that gets mocked constantly by Winnipeg and others...we are a joke.  
 
If it weren't for the Winnipeg FP...we would be obilivious to it all...sad sad sad. You said it...we will all pay for this out of our pockets...after we pay for everyone's insanely high wages down at city hall.  
 
How much longer before we can replace Shari?? Anyone keeping track of the days yet??  
 

bigmoe

7/12/2012 1:30:10 PM
Member since:
Jul 2006
Total posts:1748
?

  
someguy said "Our mayor and council are a disgrace. Do none of them have a hot sniff of how to run our city? It seems that they are driving our city into the ground. It's embarrassing really. "

What does this have to do with the Mayor and Council? It's the city management.  
I do wonder why the financial statements couldn't have been done somehow though. For that kind of money I'd use a pencil. How much interest are we losing out on on tha sum of money? Could have paid someone fulltime just to work on the books.

Cheezies

7/12/2012 1:45:09 PM
Member since:
Oct 2010
Total posts:1449
article

  
bigmoe said "
  
someguy said "Our mayor and council are a disgrace. Do none of them have a hot sniff of how to run our city? It seems that they are driving our city into the ground. It's embarrassing really. "

What does this have to do with the Mayor and Council? It's the city management.  
I do wonder why the financial statements couldn't have been done somehow though. For that kind of money I'd use a pencil. How much interest are we losing out on on tha sum of money? Could have paid someone fulltime just to work on the books. "

If you read the Free Press article from Adam's link, you will see where the Mayor and council should have some accountability. Why did no one on council question why they had no financial statements from the last 2yrs? Especially when they have completed 2 budgets during this time frame. Since the last election, these statements have not been filed.  
Certainly is embarrassing to read about all Brandon's "problems" through a Winnipeg publication. Thank goodness they are keeping us informed.

rusureuwantmyopinion?

7/12/2012 1:51:54 PM
Member since:
Feb 2012
Total posts:135
.....

  
bigmoe said "
  
someguy said "Our mayor and council are a disgrace. Do none of them have a hot sniff of how to run our city? It seems that they are driving our city into the ground. It's embarrassing really. "

What does this have to do with the Mayor and Council? It's the city management.  
I do wonder why the financial statements couldn't have been done somehow though. For that kind of money I'd use a pencil. How much interest are we losing out on on tha sum of money? Could have paid someone fulltime just to work on the books. "

accountability...seems like noone has it these days...just pass the buck...  
 
we don't need the $...we are rich here...and if we screw up and lose out on $...no biggie...can get it back next year via property taxes  
 
if financial reporting hasn't been done for 2 years...isn't that as long as Shari has been in office? So...how are we really doing financially with her decision making and how can budgets be proposed without all the #'s?  
 
or do we have a huge surplus that they are trying to decrease before submitting reports?  
 
oh...to be a fly on the wall...

Lucky Luke

7/12/2012 1:53:47 PM
Member since:
Jan 2007
Total posts:67
Hmmm

And the same group will sell MY property for "Tax recovery" if I don't pay my taxes for two years.....  

SJK

7/12/2012 2:12:52 PM
Member since:
Jul 2006
Total posts:4301
Mayor and council is a joke

  
bigmoe said "
  
someguy said "Our mayor and council are a disgrace. Do none of them have a hot sniff of how to run our city? It seems that they are driving our city into the ground. It's embarrassing really. "

What does this have to do with the Mayor and Council? It's the city management.  
I do wonder why the financial statements couldn't have been done somehow though. For that kind of money I'd use a pencil. How much interest are we losing out on on tha sum of money? Could have paid someone fulltime just to work on the books. "

Mayor Shari Decter Hirst is the city's chair of the audit and finance committee.  
 
And why is it at least 3 Councillors were not aware of the holdback by the Prov. Govt.  
 
Transparency my a$$!

on-second-thought

7/12/2012 2:28:14 PM
Member since:
Jun 2011
Total posts:1624
Wow

It would be hard to argue that there isn't something wrong when the Province is taking such action.  
 
Having financial statement overdue for two years is inexcusable. Anyone who has ever been audited by CRA knows that you have to have your books in order at all times. If you do that, the financial statement should be a piece of cake regardless of what computer program you use.  
 
Somebody has to be held accountable for this. If you or I didn't do our job for two years, our ass would be fired out the door.  
 
 
 

Johnbisonbear

7/12/2012 2:59:23 PM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:3256
???

They can complete 2 budgets but they can't file financial papers to account for the money? Something smells extremely bad here! How could they even have known how much tax money they needed? Jeepers, it just gets worse every single day!

Caligula

7/12/2012 3:12:04 PM
Member since:
Jan 2012
Total posts:78
No Worries

I'm sure it's just being viewed as a piggy bank right now...so long as it's recovered before the next election and blown on the downtown Hub...everyone will be happy!

HappyGoLucky

7/12/2012 3:12:16 PM
Member since:
Jun 2009
Total posts:187
"Audited Statement"

It is the lateness of the "Audited Statement" that is to blame for the withheld Gas Tax funds. The internal-use statements are done regularly.  
 
The Province implemented a change to how the "Audited Financial Statement" was to be done in 2009. The statement for 2011 was due on June 30, 2012. Many municipalities are struggling to meet this deadline and will be doing well to have it met by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Gas Tax is withheld.  
 
The reasons for the delay are not complex, the primary reason is that the municipality must include any "associated entity" in their statements, so they are forced to wait until every board they have an interest in, even if it is very small, has audited statements done for inclusion in the City's statement.  
 
In some places, that can mean waiting on a volunteer treasurer for a board with less than $20,000 in revenues to get their own year end done, audited & submitted to the municipality. Essentially, the city's audit could be held up over that one little board's audited statement.  
 
 

Pile Driver

7/12/2012 3:24:25 PM
Member since:
Dec 2011
Total posts:182
New Facts?

  
HappyGoLucky said "It is the lateness of the "Audited Statement" that is to blame for the withheld Gas Tax funds. The internal-use statements are done regularly.  
 
The Province implemented a change to how the "Audited Financial Statement" was to be done in 2009. The statement for 2011 was due on June 30, 2012. Many municipalities are struggling to meet this deadline and will be doing well to have it met by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Gas Tax is withheld.  
 
The reasons for the delay are not complex, the primary reason is that the municipality must include any "associated entity" in their statements, so they are forced to wait until every board they have an interest in, even if it is very small, has audited statements done for inclusion in the City's statement.  
 
In some places, that can mean waiting on a volunteer treasurer for a board with less than $20,000 in revenues to get their own year end done, audited & submitted to the municipality. Essentially, the city's audit could be held up over that one little board's audited statement.  
 
 
"

This is not the excuse the city is using. The current excuses (flood, PSAB rules and new computer software) are found in the June 25th council minutes. link: http://notes.brandon.ca/main.nsf/Contents/8F2C331305FB91C586257A30005A35A2/$File/Minutes%20-%20June%2025,%202012.pdf,  
 
Neither the mayor, Hammond, nor anybody on council has given the explanation you are now giving. It would be excuse #4, and would cause me to ask why it wasn't given from the start.  
 
Other municipalities affected by the PSAB rules and the 2011 flood have filed their financial statements on time (eg. Cornwallis and Portage). That's no excuse.

Cheezies

7/12/2012 3:27:20 PM
Member since:
Oct 2010
Total posts:1449
Okay

  
HappyGoLucky said "It is the lateness of the "Audited Statement" that is to blame for the withheld Gas Tax funds. The internal-use statements are done regularly.  
 
The Province implemented a change to how the "Audited Financial Statement" was to be done in 2009. The statement for 2011 was due on June 30, 2012. Many municipalities are struggling to meet this deadline and will be doing well to have it met by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Gas Tax is withheld.  
 
The reasons for the delay are not complex, the primary reason is that the municipality must include any "associated entity" in their statements, so they are forced to wait until every board they have an interest in, even if it is very small, has audited statements done for inclusion in the City's statement.  
 
In some places, that can mean waiting on a volunteer treasurer for a board with less than $20,000 in revenues to get their own year end done, audited & submitted to the municipality. Essentially, the city's audit could be held up over that one little board's audited statement.  
 
 
"

Okay, then why are we not done the 2010 financial statement? Why are we 2 years behind then? As it stated we haven't even submitted 2010's yet, hopefully to be completed by fall, then work on 2011's. Your explaination would cover this past year's but not the year before that.  
It states that the statement's are to be submitted before March 15, then the audited financial statements must be provided to the mayor and minister before the end of June.  
 
Edited by TDL, 2012-07-12 15:31:13

Johnbisonbear

7/12/2012 3:49:08 PM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:3256
why

Why wasn't this done, certainly cannot blame lack of staff!

mitibimaab

7/12/2012 3:53:22 PM
Member since:
Jun 2006
Total posts:348
...

It's hard to have confidence with our city departments, when it seems like it is one thing after another. Huge salary increases for upper city managers (check the 2010 city wages for dept managers with the 2011 - shocking!), huge tax hikes, COI for the mayor, now this

Abbysmum

7/12/2012 4:03:27 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:3226
Thanks Adam!

For posting the links! I knew he mentioned that it was published, but missed where!  
 
I can't believe the the city would complete budgets, raise taxes, hire all kinds of staff, etc, etc without doing their due diligence for financial reporting.

Oh Canada

7/12/2012 4:48:28 PM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:1293
Run it like a business/ transparacy

I remember the city manager saying that he was told by the tax payers of the city that the city should be run more like a business.  
I am not sure of how many successful businesses do not have their financial situation let alone statements at their fingertips to know how things are going . The reasoning of “we are in the middle of transitioning to a new accounting system” is getting old . Any good business would have both the old and new system functioning so that the parties that need this financial info can get it in a timely manner. In this case they are leaving 2.7 million dollars on the table because of this lack of planning .  
In the real world if you are the CFO or the CEO and you can not give accurate reporting to your shareholders you are going to be looking for a new job with another company or the business will be primed to take you over.  
I think it may be time for the councillors to hold these department heads accountable . I think the people that voted this council in and are paying taxes are owed that some on council need to step up !!  
 

HappyGoLucky

7/12/2012 6:38:01 PM
Member since:
Jun 2009
Total posts:187
Yes it is

  
Trailer_Park_Diva said "
  
HappyGoLucky said "It is the lateness of the "Audited Statement" that is to blame for the withheld Gas Tax funds. The internal-use statements are done regularly.  
 
The Province implemented a change to how the "Audited Financial Statement" was to be done in 2009. The statement for 2011 was due on June 30, 2012. Many municipalities are struggling to meet this deadline and will be doing well to have it met by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Gas Tax is withheld.  
 
The reasons for the delay are not complex, the primary reason is that the municipality must include any "associated entity" in their statements, so they are forced to wait until every board they have an interest in, even if it is very small, has audited statements done for inclusion in the City's statement.  
 
In some places, that can mean waiting on a volunteer treasurer for a board with less than $20,000 in revenues to get their own year end done, audited & submitted to the municipality. Essentially, the city's audit could be held up over that one little board's audited statement.  
 
 
"

This is not the excuse the city is using. The current excuses (flood, PSAB rules and new computer software) are found in the June 25th council minutes. link: http://notes.brandon.ca/main.nsf/Contents/8F2C331305FB91C586257A30005A35A2/$File/Minutes%20-%20June%2025,%202012.pdf,  
 
Neither the mayor, Hammond, nor anybody on council has given the explanation you are now giving. It would be excuse #4, and would cause me to ask why it wasn't given from the start.  
 
Other municipalities affected by the PSAB rules and the 2011 flood have filed their financial statements on time (eg. Cornwallis and Portage). That's no excuse. "

The City says "PSAB rules" which is exactly what I said, just not using the internal "jargon".  
 
Also, if you recall from my first post, the 2010 statements would have been due for June 2011 - right in the middle of the flooding.  
 
I'm not saying they are right to be so late. I'm saying they are not lying about their problems. And, they are not the only Municipality in Manitoba to be this far behind.  
 

Oh Canada

7/12/2012 7:38:13 PM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:1293
So!!

It is now July 2012 and this is a year from the high water event and the 2010 statement has not been submitted?? I would suggest that the dept. that would have been the farthest from contributing to the high water event would be the Treasure Dept.!  
Is this not their job to have these types of statements done in a timely manner so the department managers / city manager / council and the Mayor can determine how the city is being run??  

Pile Driver

7/12/2012 7:43:34 PM
Member since:
Dec 2011
Total posts:182
Fair enough...

  
HappyGoLucky said "
  
Trailer_Park_Diva said "
  
HappyGoLucky said "It is the lateness of the "Audited Statement" that is to blame for the withheld Gas Tax funds. The internal-use statements are done regularly.  
 
The Province implemented a change to how the "Audited Financial Statement" was to be done in 2009. The statement for 2011 was due on June 30, 2012. Many municipalities are struggling to meet this deadline and will be doing well to have it met by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Gas Tax is withheld.  
 
The reasons for the delay are not complex, the primary reason is that the municipality must include any "associated entity" in their statements, so they are forced to wait until every board they have an interest in, even if it is very small, has audited statements done for inclusion in the City's statement.  
 
In some places, that can mean waiting on a volunteer treasurer for a board with less than $20,000 in revenues to get their own year end done, audited & submitted to the municipality. Essentially, the city's audit could be held up over that one little board's audited statement.  
 
 
"

This is not the excuse the city is using. The current excuses (flood, PSAB rules and new computer software) are found in the June 25th council minutes. link: http://notes.brandon.ca/main.nsf/Contents/8F2C331305FB91C586257A30005A35A2/$File/Minutes%20-%20June%2025,%202012.pdf,  
 
Neither the mayor, Hammond, nor anybody on council has given the explanation you are now giving. It would be excuse #4, and would cause me to ask why it wasn't given from the start.  
 
Other municipalities affected by the PSAB rules and the 2011 flood have filed their financial statements on time (eg. Cornwallis and Portage). That's no excuse. "

The City says "PSAB rules" which is exactly what I said, just not using the internal "jargon".  
 
Also, if you recall from my first post, the 2010 statements would have been due for June 2011 - right in the middle of the flooding.  
 
I'm not saying they are right to be so late. I'm saying they are not lying about their problems. And, they are not the only Municipality in Manitoba to be this far behind.  
 
"

Even if that's all true, couldn't this situation have been prevented by staff in treasury working overtime, or adding temporary staff? Are we supposed to believe that all activity stopped in treasury for more than a YEAR because of the 2011 flood? It's not as if the water bills, tax bills, etc. weren't getting sent out.  
 
How do you explain the fact that none of the city councillors appear to have known that the gas tax was being withheld? What possible reason could there be for keeping them in the dark? That's a completely separate matter.

kerry auriat

7/12/2012 10:28:14 PM
Member since:
Nov 2007
Total posts:593
This is embarrassing

I didn't follow the issue initially, but when I read the column, I must admit its pretty embarrassing. Is the mayor to blame? She is on the Audit committee, so obviously she has some responsibility. Also, she campaigned as a graduate of the Rotman school of business at the University of Toronto, so she should know how important audited financial statements are.  
There are many other people who should be apologizing to the public including the other councilors on this committee. Where were they? You can't blame the mayor for everything!  
Finally, I wonder where the treasurer and paid auditors were?  

bigmoe

7/12/2012 10:59:48 PM
Member since:
Jul 2006
Total posts:1748
.

I'm sure there will be a story in the Sun clearing up the facts so there's no sense getting all puffed up at this point.

BH

7/12/2012 11:40:55 PM
Member since:
Mar 2008
Total posts:651
...

I would assume they have informal statements that would paint a pretty accurate picture of their current health.  
 
It does paint a poor image of the city though, and how many times have certain.. groups who have poor financial reporting been skewered online?

Edited by admin, 2012-07-13 07:15:22. Reason: Edit requested by poster

k-man

7/12/2012 11:56:11 PM
Member since:
Dec 2008
Total posts:145
love our council

and no one will be in the wrong,or held accountable.  
if i was managing a buisness and ran things the way council is doing,myself and my assistant manager would definately be held responsible and would be having to do some pretty quick answering.  
 
but this is brandon,and for some reason,our council can do what they like and have no one to answer to.

JackAzz

7/13/2012 12:48:39 AM
Member since:
Jul 2008
Total posts:1407
Also

  
mitibimaab said "It's hard to have confidence with our city departments, when it seems like it is one thing after another. Huge salary increases for upper city managers (check the 2010 city wages for dept managers with the 2011 - shocking!), huge tax hikes, COI for the mayor, now this "

You forgot the wrongful dismismal fiasco with Wade Ritchie.  

 
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