City Council appoints deputy treasurer
by Terri Wiebold
On the heels of celebrating its one-year anniversary of becoming a city, the Castle Pines North City Council is taking steps to ensure that city financial information remains open, accessible, and timely.
At the May 14 City Council meeting, council unanimously passed a resolution to appoint a deputy treasurer, citing a lack of confidence in financial disclosure and transparency as one reason for the change.
“The concern of Council was that there be adequate back-up and accesibility to financial transactions and reporting,” said Councilmember Ron Clark, who brought the motion before Council.
According to City Treasurer Doug Gilbert, “Many in the community believe that the treasurer is the CFO [Chief Financial Officer] of the city. That is not the case unless Council says so, and it did not say so,” stated Gilbert. “Council can strip the treasurer of virtually all power,” he continued. “ It has done so and, in my current limited understanding, now CH2M Hill is in virtually full control of all of those functions.”
Until now, the city treasurer has maintained all financial records and, according to CH2M Hill representatives, has not allowed anyone access to the records. Aside from the treasurer’s report that is presented at city council meetings, very limited information has been made available to the public regarding the city’s financial situation.
“Our ultimate goal has been to have CH2M Hill serve as our financial administrator where they have full and complete access to all records, as contractually obligated in the City’s contract with them,” stated Mayor Maureen Shul.
With now-unlimited access to financial data, CH2M Hill is currently analyzing all financial records and has recommended a reduction of city services of forty percent (40%). City Manager, Alan Lanning, is also preparing an analysis of cost saving measures pertaining to consolidation of services such as those provided by individual HOAs.
Records clearly indicate that the city is operating at a level far beyond its budget and city officials are just beginning to publicly acknowledge the budgetary deficit of more than a million dollars.
CH2M Hill will present current financial information in the coming weeks, along with revised budgets that will accurately reflect the new reality of the city’s finances.