Calexico faces unaccountable Measure H funds

0

city of Calexico

CALEXICO – Unaccountable Measure H funds caused the General Tax Citizen Oversight committee to hold several meetings between the Calexico school district, the Calexico Pool committee, and the financial Advisory Board on Thursday.

Measure H was established by the City of Calexico to benefit their residents. Calexico citizens voted to pay an additional half-cent in city sales tax, monies allocated to enable recreational summer activities for the families and a rainy day fund for emergency services.

Calexico Interim Finance Director Eduardo Gutierrez was unable to provide an accurate account balance to the Financial Advisory Board Committee. Gutierrez presented an excel spreadsheet with an approximate balance to worried members.

“The last time this committee met was over a year and a half ago, after that we have been in the dark,” said Guillermo Hermosillo, Measure H Chairman.

Member Norma Aguilar recalled giving direction to the finance department instructing they open a special account specifically for Measure H funds in order to track expenditures and have an accurate balance.

Due to the high turnover in management, at some point the Measure H and General Fund account were combined creating the discrepancy.

“I can’t believe the lack of organization at the finance department, nor having anyone in that department knowing the status of this account,” said Alex Perrone, Chairman, Financial Advisory Committee.

The Measure H contribution towards the swimming pool had been approved by city council, however it lacked the approval of the Measure H committee.

Without proper procedures to approve the $2 million contribution from Measure H to the pool project, chairman Hermosillo requested that city administration place the item on a future Measure H agenda for its approval, following the proper procedure.

“We all support the pool, Calexico needs a pool since (we lost our pool at) the last earthquake, however this money needs to be approved by the committee in a proper manner,” said Hermosillo.

The construction of the swimming pool is expected to proceed as scheduled without delays and is expected to open during the summer of 2016.