Councilor Stehly gets it done without even voting

As I have mentioned in the past, Councilor Stehly has gotten a lot of things done without the votes, but by just simply putting on pressure.

She did it again this afternoon at the Audit Committee Meeting.

She asked for several things from the podium during the 2020 Audit Plan presentation;

• An external audit of the Parking System (Theresa mentioned that she found it odd that the city wants to keep building or subsidizing parking ramps downtown yet wants to sell off flat parking lots).

• An audit of the CMAR (Construction Manager at Risk) process.

• Travel expenses of city staff (I guess that during the current administration, city directors and staff, and mostly the mayor, have been taking a lot of ‘junket trips’ but not really giving a report to the public as what they are doing on the trips. Recently TenHaken put up a short column about his trip to China, but never really told us what was really discussed. We also get a lot of updates on FB from the Innovation Manger and all the different cities he has been drinking in.

• A study of City Director salaries in comparison to other cities. Something I pointed out the last time the HR department did a wage study, but did NOT include city directors. How convenient.

The committee argued the merits of all the items. Councilor Brekke mentioned that maybe the city council budget analyst could look into the last two items and do a presentation on those findings – which I agree.

Audit Manager Nelson suggested that the CMAR audit would have to be done externally due to it’s speciality of the audit.

But they got into a long discussion about the external parking ramp audit. Councilor Kiley said he didn’t want to put it on the audit plan because they are in the middle of litigation, but other members argued that there was nothing wrong with putting it on the agenda, and if they have to pull it in the future, they can. The amendment to add it passed with Kiley and Chair Neitzert voting against it. Councilor Stehly doesn’t sit on the committee so she couldn’t vote on it.

T.J. TypeOver said they won’t audit it until it is done;

T.J. Nelson, deputy chief of staff in the mayor’s office, said City Hall isn’t opposed to a review of the parking system or the ramp, but not until the ramp project is complete and the dust settles on any lawsuits surrounding it.

“The administration will complete a comprehensive review of the process that led to the prior approval of this project by the Huether administration. This will take place following the ramp’s completion and resolution of any outstanding legal matters,” he said. “At this time, the administration supports a financial or construction audit consistent with the time frame outlined above.”

Yeah, after we have f’d up in every possible way we can, then we will tell the public how that f’k up occurred. WHAT!? Wouldn’t it be wise to figure that out BEFORE we move ahead with another developer or even litigation? Wouldn’t this help our case? Sometimes I wonder if putting money in a burn barrel would be a better way to spend money then paying city communication staff.

There was also a presentation on the Landfill Audit. There was a lot of problems going on out there where basically employees were not following procedures and not doing proper inspections. You can listen for yourself. My view is the city is missing out on a lot of landfill revenue due to the laziness of the employees. I think they were warned about these things in past audits. I think it is time to start handing our pink slips, then maybe they will get the picture.

Chair Neitzert mentions at the end they are going to start the process of hiring another staff auditor (which they do need). I wonder if this time they will actually put an employment ad in something besides Tidbits and the City Hall’s lunchroom?


I still haven’t heard all the details of what happened, but I guess a committee member got a little irate about how the public is being left out of the decisions they are making. More to come.


#1 Briggs on 12.02.19 at 10:05 pm

SHOCKING!!! Greg is against an audit. Dude doesn’t understand that real leadership is being willing to review possible mistakes and own up to them. A 22 year old shouldn’t have to lecture a gown adult about this.

#2 D@ily Spin on 12.03.19 at 8:48 am

All of Stehly’s points are evils that deserve immediate attention. The CMAR process should be abandoned in favor of ethical bid process. It’s how a few insiders get city contracts and become millionaires. To be competitive, favored city contractors must get out of their limos and learn how to build something other than parking ramps.

#3 "Very Stable Genius" on 12.03.19 at 12:27 pm

Auditing might help the other legal team, huh? It’s best to complete the legal work and get a settlement without prejudice before new facts come out, huh?

It’s a smart legal strategy for the city, but it strikes at the heart of true transparency for a democratic (small “d”) governmental entity.

#4 rufusx on 12.03.19 at 5:24 pm

Audits, by their very nature, are ALWAYS done after-the-fact. What is done before hand is called an analysis.

#5 "Woodstock" on 12.03.19 at 9:43 pm

“What is done before hand is called” screwing the taxpayers.

#6 D@ily Spin on 12.04.19 at 1:46 pm

Irregularities are corruption that transpired at the start of Home Rule Charter (1996). Munson used it for Phillips to the Falls, the Pavilion, and the Orpheum. Huether abused it for a coliseum, bath house, and indoor tennis. Huether (a credit card crook) overextended the city financially with bonds that became junk. Mayor has become Emperor. Huether was a Caligula with false arrests and homeless prejudice. Unfortunately, there must be a city city bankruptcy before fundamental democracy can be restored.

#7 D@ily Spin on 12.04.19 at 2:02 pm

I feel sorry for city administration. They want to fix the evil but there’s no money. Hiring more staff and adding eschelons only adds more overhead with high salaries and benefits.
The platform for the next mayor should be a California style municipal bankruptcy, cut half the directors and mayor servants, massive city employee layoffs, and default on most golden retirements. Why you say; this is the right time. Ag is bankrupt, banking is insolvent from historically low interest rates, health care is baby boomer default, real estate is inflated with predominant vacant commercial land, credit cards and loan sharks are no longer viable because of low wage earners.