They Flock Together

Yep. They flock together.

Not only that, the county commissioners doubled down. Remember the article about “Who Audits the Auditors”? Click here.

Well, now the commissioners just approved to continue the contract. FOR SIX MORE YEARS. With a pay raise. The approval was consent agenda item C on September 18, 2018 for $40,150. Per year.

Nothing to see here taxpayers. Move along. Commissioners do not care about the lack of integrity, ethics and character of McMahan and Associates, an Eagle County-based auditing firm. They are fine continuing to work with the unseemly CPA firm.

Remember, that CPA firm signed an agreement per contract and promised to not use our legal opinion (value $14K), yet nonetheless leveraged the findings with other western slope counties:

On February 21, 2018, Chief Deputy Karschner emailed the opinion from Mr. Klenda to Mr. Miller. In the subject heading and the body of his email to Mr. Miller, Chief Deputy Karschner reminded Mr. Miller that the information was “strictly confidential and not to be transmitted or distributed to any auditor or other person who is not directly involved in performing or supervising the performance of the audit of Routt County.” Mr. Miller replied back saying, “we will keep this information confidential.” The reason our office demanded confidentiality was to protect the investment the county was making by gaining this legal opinion. Unfortunately, that confidentiality was breached by McMahan & Associates.

And:

Several other counties in Colorado represented by McMahan & Associates were dealing with the same SOT question. The Garfield County Treasurer and County Attorney received an email from McMahan & Associates partner Paul Backes who states “We recently received an extensive seven page analysis from another County’s attorney’s office that goes into quite a bit of detail regarding Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District v. Witwer, 116 p. 2d 200 (Colo. 1941).”                                                                                  

The analysis Mr. Backes references is the one provided Routt County by Klenda Gessler and Blue, LLC. This is a clear violation of our confidentiality agreement with Matthew Miller and proves that McMahan and Associates is using the legal opinion paid for by Routt County to consult with other counties on this matter.

Shameful. Egregious. Wasteful. Only to be rewarded by our local politicians.

These commissioners are in it together, in unison. Unanimous in abusing power and controlling what they think is best for you. Remember when we left the Brits for the land of the free?

Routt County politicians vote in a bloc, retaining their power and working against taxpayer interests. This year alone, only Doug and Tim voted against the other two. One time only.

Their history is a textbook example of mob behavior: A mindless crowd acting as one. Individuals abandoning their personal responsibility and consciences to a monolithic groupthink—to do together what none would dare do alone. Hiding behind conformity.

Here’s the scorecard of how the commissioners have voted for the last four years. Cari Hermacinski (R), Doug Monger (D) and Tim Corrigan (D).

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*Total motions for action items only. Votes for consent agenda and warrants not included.

Votes Matter. Integrity Matters. But do Routt County Taxpayers Matter? Not so much.  

And icing on the cake: Now the commissioners are offloading their responsibility to even pay for their contracted responsibility of the $14k invoice for the legal opinion requested by the auditors. The commissioners are charging those legal fees to the Treasurer’s Office, despite the fact that it’s not even a responsible party on the contract. Imperious overreach. But nobody’s holding them accountable.

#PoliticiansAreNotKingsorQueens

 

Who Audits the Auditors?

Birds of a feather ...

Here’s yet another example of the local government pulling a fast one on the citizens of Routt County.

Your county commissioners refuse to cut ties with an auditing firm who profiteered by re-utilizing confidential research that your tax dollars paid $14,000 for.

…They flock together…

Says your commissioners: “Nothing to see here.” With an added dismissive undertone from the county unelected bureaucrat: “Move along county taxpayer, move along.”

Well, the EXACT wording was….after hand delivering the letter (click on below) to the Routt County Board of Commissioners Office, this response from an email penned by County Manager, Mr. Sullivan:

“I have discussed your letter regarding the contract with McMahon and Associates, LLC (the Auditor) with the Board as well as the fact that the Auditor apparently ensured Patrick that the matter would remain confidential and yet failed to follow through on that assurance. Those matters are of deep concern for the Board and will be of future import in examining the current and future relationship with this Auditor and in future bid processes.  The County will continue to do its diligence in protecting the integrity of County functions and receiving quality service where the statutory mandates are concerned.  A reaction at this time on the part of the County in discharging the Auditor due to this matter alone may very well disserve the interests of the County. That said, I appreciate your efforts to notify the Board of your concerns about the Auditor.”

Routt citizens, this is a prime picture of your government rulers at work. The county paid $38,500 last year for this auditing firm.

No need to fire a third party working for your county that is profiteering from your hard-earned tax dollars. No need to do what is right for the county. No need to follow rule of law.

Complacency overrules ethical and principled values. I am speechless with this decision. Routt County, you deserve better.

Continue below to read the entire hand delivered letter...

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Rearranging the Hearing Room Chairs

Recently, I received a question from one of my freedom loving Facebook friends. She asked, “Are there any rules about re-voting on something if it is voted down? A Waiting period?” (Thanks for asking Ann!)

Right away, a state senator answers with the Rules from State Legislation. Perfect right? Nope, this is a local issue. I chimed in: Local as in county or town? She replied: Town.

Me: Home rule?

Nope, statutory town.

Hum. Well, it depends. We are back to the beginning. What rules do they follow? I wish the blanket answer was ‘Robert’s Rules of Order” as we (graduating from high school 1981 or earlier) were taught.

Not so fast taxpayer. Not so fast.

The rules have changed. Greatly. While you have been hard at work, getting married, raising a family, going to church, piano lessons, school recitals, sporting events, band practice, scouts, 4-H, and vacations (you get the picture), the local unelected bureaucrats (town, city or county employees) have rearranged the chairs in the hearing rooms.

Yep! Now, to speak to the local elected board, there are set times that the public can speak. No more “dropping by” for a quick convo about the water issue down on Main Street with your representative (the one you voted for). To add insult to injury, most of the time they aren’t even there. You need to make an appointment or come to the beginning of the scheduled meeting or sit and wait for the “appropriate time” that the public is pre-arranged to speak, per the agenda. Most of the meetings don’t even allow for the elected official to answer your question in the meeting.

Control. It’s all about control. Not following rule of law, not listening to the taxpayer, and not even following the “internal policies” that the unelected bureaucrats changed years ago and conveniently "forgot” when you caught them. There’s the rub. When you caught them. As soon as a citizen starts asking for a document explaining the rules that must be followed, the doors of the local building (that you paid for) start to shut as fast as a pending tornado heading your way.

When the Exhausted Taxpayer, from neglecting their personal life (see above list) begins to investigate any local government misappropriation, the town, city, county (take your pick) manager shouts that you need to fill out a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) form. The staff shuts up and waits for the form to be filled out.

Ms. Exhausted waits. For 72 business hours. She usually receives a few documents with a return form stating that there are more documents available, however, due to the time and labor of retrieving said documents, “Please provide us with X number of dollars to continue the research you requested.” Yep, the local government needs more money. More of your (now it's really personal) hard earned dollars just to find out if the local entity is following their own rules. Unbelievable.

Folks, we are at a tipping point in local government. Gone are the days of local government as we knew it. Unelected bureaucrats have been meeting for years at conferences, sharing with each other the best strategies for moving away from Ms. Exhausted Taxpayer. Their excuse is the need to get the “efficient” government model that their current insatiable, power hungry elected boss wants.

Recently, there was a town manager conference to learn new tactics on how to change fire codes. Answer: get rid of the current fire chief and promote one that will carry the town board's wishes. Boom. Done. None of the taxpayers even saw it happen. Now, that town has heaps of new building fire codes to follow. All with an additional fee. Imagine that. More money.

So, what are the rules for the board? Well, it depends. What day is it today? Good luck!

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