1/24/2013 AWA Board Meeting Minutes

  • AWA Board Asks Mancebo for GSL, CFD, Audits and Corrections Update

    At the January 24 AWA Board meeting, the public requested that the AWA Board direct General Manager Gene Mancebo to agendize several topics for the February 14 meeting, including an update on the Gravity Supply Line (GSL) and the Community Facilities District (CFD) to pay for the GSL. The Board also asked Mancebo to agendize status updates on the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 audits and the accounting corrections needed to resolve issues with funds that were illegally intermingled.

    The GSL was last mentioned on December 13th, 2012, when Board President Paul Molinelli announced “I think we should fast track it and I hope we do”. The most recent status update on the GSL was August 9th, 2012. In October, the Board announced that it was reconsidering the formation of the CFD and looking into alternatives to fund the project. At the January 10, 2013 meeting, neither Field Services Manager Chris McKeage nor General Manager Gene Mancebo nor any Board member knew if AWA had acquired all of the needed easements and permits for the GSL. Ratepayers were told in 2010 that everything was ready to go.

    The accounting issues that arose from the intermingling of restricted funds were last discussed on November 29th. Since then, Mancebo informed the Board that he would need to hire a consultant to sort out the problems the public uncovered with the solution he presented. Financial records that would show what happened to the restricted funds are still being withheld from the public at the Board’s direction.

    It has been nearly three years since AWA’s financials have been successfully audited. The Board refuses to supply communications with the auditor and financial reports to the public, saying that the reports may “confuse them”. The Agency’s attorney has said that disclosing the communication between AWA staff and the auditor would have a “chilling effect”. When the ratepayers get over that chill, they may demand to know why their elected officials withheld the financial data.