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Coming Clean  EDITORIAL

 

 
Del Mar Mud Run at the Fairgrounds October 15, 2011.
Photo Mike Salt

 

November 8th’s Fair Board meeting will tell us much about whether to expect any change in the scofflaw culture that has characterized this unaccountable body for decades.

Following the Sandpiper’s lead, local news outlets have reported some serious state audit discrepancies. One of the new board appointees has insisted that these matters be discussed in open session instead of behind closed doors as in the past.
We welcome this move toward transparency and hope that it signals more public accountability from this reconfigured board of appointees.

Key questions for the Fair Board:

1. Why did the 22nd DAA refuse to follow the State Audit Office’s recommendation to recoup the $244,000 in improper payments, including $240,349 paid out to 22 managers and supervisors beyond the 40 hours allowed by the Department of Personnel Administration?

2. Why did the 22nd DAA continue to provide over $40,000 in catered dinners to Board members and their guests in 2007 alone, without proper documentation, even though this improper conduct was identified in a previous year’s audit?

3. It appears that the 2007 report was never included on a Fair Board agenda as a discussion or action item, or as a part of the Board packet. If that is the case, who formulated and approved the 22nd DAA’s formal response to the report, and how was that action taken without being reflected in Board minutes, agendas, or board packets?

We note that the 22nd DAA’s responses were sent on July 9, 2009 over the signature of Tim Fennell, General Manager/CEO and Kelly Burt, President, subsequently removed from the Board by Gov. Brown.

4. Will the 22nd DAA release the preliminary draft of the 2008-09 report so that members of the public can comment on it and any “reportable conditions” that may be contained in it, before the Board determines the best way to implement (or, as with the 2007 report, to refuse to implement) the Audit Office’s recommendations?
Members of the public concerned about these issues may wish to attend the Nov. 8 meeting of the 22nd DAA Board, and to review the board packet generally published online the Thursday preceding the meeting.

Note: The Sandpiper has made an official request to examine all audit reports since 1977 under the California Public Records Act.

See related Fair Board article here.

 
 

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