When the chamber report came out I sent Mike Andreen an email about the issue. Below is the core of the response.
Letter to the City of Encinitas from Michael Andreen, September 14, 2009
First, in regard to the item on the tentative Agenda for Wednesday
October 21, 2009; for reconsideration of renewal of the agreement with
the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce for the Operation of the Encinitas
Visitor Center, I would like to formally request a meeting with City
Manager Phil Cotton tomorrow or Thursday morning at the latest.
The subject of the meeting is the fact that on Wednesday, April 15th,
2009, the Encinitas City Council passed a motion to continue funding
the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce to operate the Encinitas Visitor
Center for one more year, contingent upon receipt of an "audit within
60 days." (Please find video linked excerpts of the motion and
pre-motion detailing that "an audit in 60 days" was required).
As Mayor Houlihan stated at the 4-15-09 public meeting, "I am really
glad to hear that you (Ken Gross and the Chamber) are doing an audit,
I am assuming that this person (chosen) is someone picked for their
independence, and to be quite honest, I don't care what the audit
shows, I just want the truth."
In reality, the Encinitas North Coast Chamber of Commerce did not
return an audit in 60 days, nor six months; on September 16, 2009, the
Encinitas North Coast Chamber of Commerce returned something much less
than an audit, nor was it even a 'review' according to the CPA Colleen
Walsh a Chamber Board Member who prepared it; nor did it allow for
analysis of 'how' the public monies the City of Encinitas forwarded to
the Chamber were expended to operate the Encinitas Visitor Center,"for
the year previous", as you stated, Richard; meaning fiscal year, 2008.
Instead, the Chamber submitted a listing of financial categories not
broken out or differentiated between public monies and private
Membership or Special Event monies.
Also attached to this report were conclusions submitted by Chamber
President Ken Gross that were completely unsubstantiated character
assassinations with absolutely no documentation to back up his spurious claims.
Gross tells of misdeeds, but showed none in the report. Where's the
beef? I am and
was always a 1099 independent contractor with absolutely no access to
financials and have no business being the focus of an "audit" of the
Visitor Center funding as I was never ever a part of the Visitor
Center and serve only as a convenient scapegoat for Mr. Gross to use
as part of a whitewash of his personal responsibility as an Executive
of the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce for five years.
In fact, the report by the CPA Walsh that she prepared for the Chamber
is,"...substantially less in scope than an audit in accordance with
generally accepted auditing standards." In her own words.
In the actual report submitted by the Chamber, Ms. Walsh clearly
states,"This forensic report is presented as an expository tool for
management and the Board of Directors. The information and findings
presented herein are not designed for those who are not informed about
the financial matters of Encinitas Chamber of Commerce."
"This is not a full scope report, nor is it an audit."
So, what was submitted was not an audit, nor was it independent as
Mayor Houlihan personally requested, nor was it done in 60 days. For
that reason and others, I would like to meet with the City Manager to
formally ask him to prevail upon the City Council to remove the item
from the 21st and return the report to the Encinitas Chamber of
Commerce, as they have clearly failed to submit what is legally
required of the Chamber to fulfill the requirements of the action
taken by the Encinitas City Council on April 15, 2009.
Like Mayor Houlihan, I would like what the Chamber has submitted to be
the truth. While it is several things, it is not an audit, and
certainly not the truth.
Thank you in advance for your help. I will make myself available any
time the City Manager is available to meet with me.
Mike also posed some other interesting questions in his email to me. I'll try to get to some of them soon.
See Also: Chamber Report Coverage