So, Mr. Mayor, What Now?

| June 15, 2010 | 1 Comment

The last time I was in City Hall, the finance department was located right below the Mayor’s office, so this $150,000 was stolen literally right from under the Mayor’s nose!

When you campaigned, your mission was to make Annapolis the best run city in the state of Maryland. Apparently some of those in your administration did not get that memo and hopefully, you will take the leadership we all know you are capable of and not only get to the root of the issue, but correct it.

Your administration has been marked by one crisis after the next. Snow, budget, snow, snow, budget, budget, and now a theft of taxpayer money from a safe in City Hall.  The citizens of Annapolis elected you to be a steward of our town and have placed our trust in your judgment of assembling a cohesive administration.

Mr. Mayor, do you recall when you discovered the “train wreck?” The deficit the City was facing ranged “officially” from $3 million, to close to $15 million, to $9 million, up to $12 million, back down to $8.5 million–are you seeing a problem here?

We entrust you to solve the problem–or at least make an attempt at solving the problem, yet your finance office is unable to actually define the problem. Mr. Mayor, here’s the problem –your finance director, Tim Elliott.

Elliott was hired (actually retained from the Moyer administration) to manage the finances of the City and now is responsible for the loss of $150,000.  And to top it off, he did not bother to tell his boss!

Certainly Elliott was not the only one aware of the theft. Was Doug Smith, Chief Administrative Officer, aware? Did he give direction to Elliott to keep you in the dark? Why weren’t you notified when the police began their investigation?

Mr. Mayor, as the CEO of our fine City, you have a duty to protect us–and you have failed. We are a forgiving bunch, but not too forgiving. Hopefully you will see this as the management failure that it is and the people responsible for allowing it will be fired, if they have not resigned already.

As to the ultimate culprit, it is clearly apparent that this was an inside job. And it clearly does not speak to the intelligence of the thief if there is any attempt at cashing or depositing any of the checks. I suspect that the amount of cash was higher than usual (on that day last week when they decided to keep you in the dark) and the thief saw an opportunity and took it! Hopefully, the City has captured images on their CCTV security system and the culprit will be brought to justice quickly.  And then, I guess we need to hope that justice takes it seriously.

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