Stanley must share blame as part of his plan to fix city’s financial woes (April 11, 1999)
Call it election-year politics, or bad timing for Mayor Woodrow Stanley, or just the fruits of bad management. Whatever the reason for the rash of financial irregularities that have plagued the city of Flint recently, the fact remains that something must be done to safeguard public dollars are restore the public’s confidence.
In doing so, there also must be preventative action taken to make sure such
errors don’t happen again.
Just this year, The Journal has uncovered a laundry list of events and circumstances that have shaken the public’s confidence in city government, or at least questioned Stanley’s judgment when it comes to government appointments. But more importantly they have caused great speculation of an even bleaker financial picture than what the surface reveals.
In February the city was forced to put $1.1 million in its pension system to cover the amount of interest that would have been generated on more than $20 million in employee contributions had the money not sat in the wrong account for more than a year.
Last month city officials announced that they might have misdirected $1 million in property tax payments to local entities.
Then the state treasury’s office accused the city of failing to forward industrial facility taxes that it collected for tax abatement areas during the past three years.
The state later came down on the city for being more than three months late with its annual audit of city finances, possibly impairing the city’s ability to borrow money.
In response to these problems, Stanley on Wednesday outlined his remedy.
- Appointment of Matthew Grady III as director of the city’s Finance Department.
- The creation of a three- to five-member review committee made up of financial experts who will review city financial policies.
- Hiring accounting firm Arthur Andersen to provide consulting to the finance department.
- Recommending the Flint Retirement Board hire an independent retirement fund administrator.
All four moves make good sense, and should help prevent future mishaps. But concerns and questions still loom. How did the city get to this point financially? Are these problems a sign of an even bigger problem yet to be revealed?
Stanley was quick to cite his disappointment in former Finance Director Marc Puckett, who resigned after seven years as the city’s finance chief just as these events began to unravel. Whether Puckett is to blame for all of these irregularities remains to be discovered. But wherever fault lies it must be shared by Stanley.
As mayor he is responsible for appointing people with the credentials and ability to handle enormous tasks. Should something go astray in any department his appointees head, it reflects negatively on the city and its leadership.
Hopefully Stanley’s Four Point Fiscal Integrity Plan will rectify the current situation and help avoid future turmoil.
Copyright Flint Journal / MLive Media Group (mlive.com). Used with permission.
Files dealing with Marc Puckett
- 19920114 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920225 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920303 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920305 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920319 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920623 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19960111 Retirement firm accuses official of favoritism
- 19960403 Folks soaked by water bills may get relief
- 19960920 Marc Puckett’s red light ticket
- 19990130 $9-million pension fund transfer raises questions
- 19990202 Retirement panel urges ‘immediate’ audit of plan
- 19990203 Retirement board splits over need for independent manager
- 19990203 Finance director resigns under fire of pension flap
- 19990210 Former finance director lashes back at critics, hints suit
- 19990224 Flint to boost pension fund
- 19990319 Flint sent tax funds to wrong units
- 19990326 Ex-finance director cashes in on $6,000 in unused vacation time
- 19990330 Flint could owe state millions some industrial facilities taxes have not been paid since 1996
- 19990408 Stanley acts on money woes, appoints new finance chief
- 19990411 Stanley must share blame as part of his plan to fix city’s financial woes
- 19990909 Audit details shortfalls in financial procedures
- 20100219 Personal injury complaint against Marc Puckett
- 20100408 Answer of defendant, Marc R. Puckett, to plaintiffs’ complaint
- 20101227 New finance director to step down
- 20101228 Marc Puckett out — Again
- 20101230 Leadership turmoil
- 20110104 The world according to John Moorlach
- 20110110 City faces $231,000 deficit
- 20110113 Interim finance director named
- 20110210 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 201102405 Marc Puckett’s ticket for stopping on a red signal
- 20110817 Marc Puckett’s ticket for no license plate
- 20120309 Marc Puckett’s Orange County accident case information
- 20120425 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20120703 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20140724 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20141124 Marc Puckett’s ticket for coasting out of gear
- 20141205 Marc Puckett’s ticket for speeding
- 20150529 Marc Puckett’s ticket for improper use of preferred lane
- Comments for tonight’s council meeting
- The innumerate Mr. Puckett
- Shill crazy after all these years
- Earth to Puckett!
- About those awards
- One PRR story: American Express (CC)
- 20160913 Documents link top Apple Valley official to #FlintWaterCrisis
- 20160913 Investigation: Flint / Apple Valley Connection
- 20160915 Economic Speech (Trump)
- 20161018 Will Apple Valley become California’s Flint, MI?
- 20170319 Trump EPA grants Michigan $100 million to fix Flint water system
- 20170320 Sinkhole: Effort to replace pipes to Flint homes off to slow start
- 20170806 Vehicle belonging to AV town manager involved in hit-and-run
- He’s gonna need a good lawyer
- 20170809 Apple Valley official believes Liberty could have followed him before crash
- Public trust destroyed (Carloni)
- 20170907 Hit-and-run investigation involving Marc Puckett’s Cadillac sent to DA
- 20171010 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- A question of character
- 20171206 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett charged with felony hit-and-run
- 20171206 A long wait for crash victim
- 20171117 A history of infractions
- 20171207 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett on personal leave after felony hit-and-run charge filed
- 20171214 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett pleads not guilty to felony hit-and-run charge
- 20171214 I-15 crash victim seeks $2M in damages from Apple Valley
- 20171219 Editorial: Passing the Puck (Valles)
- 20171228 Town Hall position not a factor in Puckett’s custody status, attorney says
- 20180105 Puckett forced out as Apple Valley’s Assistant Manager & Finance Director
- 20180109 Tin Cup Men (Valles)
- 20180116 Puckett’s dismissal just what the town needed (Valles)
- 20180307 Puckett deposition set for mid-April in town’s eminent domain case
- 20180425 Pre-plea report ordered in Puckett’s felony case