Response to State Controller by BayAreaNewsGroup

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									                      To the Citizens of Hercules

                Response to State Controller’s Report

Hercules has been under turmoil for the last eighteen months with the
recall election last June 2011, hiring of a new city attorney in
September and city manager in October and the recent hiring of our
new finance director in April 2012. Last June due to budget cuts the
Hercules staff was reduced by forty percent, with the remaining staff
taking a fifteen percent reduction in pay and hours.

Our finance department was reduced from nine permanent employees
to four. During the audit two senior account techs left for other jobs.
The current city staff is close to job burnout but continue to give the
citizens of Hercules exemplary service.

Also, during that same time period our current auditors were
conducting their own internal audit in addition to complying with a
federal agency’s request for documents for their investigation.

The City of Hercules fully intends to search for the documents
requested by the Controller’s office. The State Controller was actually
conducting four audits: the gas tax. State grants, federal grants and
accounting procedures.

During the audit that was conducted in the fall of 2011, the City of
Hercules turned over fifty two boxes of documents to the state
auditors. The Hercules staff also complied with a second request and a
third request for documents. I feel that the monies in question were
spent properly and in accordance with accounting requirements.
In order to respond to the state auditors request for documents, I will
be asking the finance subcommittee and the adhoc finance committee
to meet and go through the fifty two boxes of documents to search for
the documents that the state controller’s office requested. There are
four accountants who are members of our adhoc finance committee
and should have the experience to assist in finding the requested

Our local state legislators have all helped the City of Hercules and I had
hoped that the state controller would have understood what has
happened in our city. Our plight has been well documented by the
media and with the help of local state legislators Hercules will be able
to stand tall again.

I don’t want to cast blame on the past, but this current council wants to
resolve past issues and be accountable to all agencies.

Dan Romero

Mayor of Hercules

May 13, 2012

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