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Milestones (OPINION)

Now that the “infamous” audit for the stadium has unofficially been leaked to the press it can and will be discussed in more detail.

For in depth City audit coverage see Carolyn Schuk’s article on page 6. You may not remember how this auditor was chosen to perform our audit, so let’s review.

City staff was asked by the Council late last summer to interview potential audit firms to do the audit. They did that. City staff interviewed and vetted three firms that were highly qualified. These firms were presented to the Council during a marathon Council meeting which ran past 1:00 in the morning. In that early morning haze, the chosen firms were presented to Council. It was then the surprise of the night was unveiled. Mayor Gillmor rejected the staff’s recommendation and chose Harvey Rose Company, a management consulting firm. HRC had been vetted, interviewed and considered by City staff, but not recommended. HRC didn’t even have a CPA on staff (and obtained one later). You would have to ask; how and why the Mayor chose this firm?

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Frontier Ford

As we noted last week, there are no bomb shells in this audit, unless the absence of convincing argument is a bombshell of its own.

Harvey Rose Company, which did the audit, spent seven months and over $200,000 of City money to arrive at supposition.

Several allegations are made about reporting hours and City charges that were overlooked.

We use the word “allegation” since the 169-page report does not offer any supporting documentation.

We also noted that HRC used speculation, theory and extrapolation to arrive at conclusion.

One of these conclusions is “the contract should be changed”.

Really? Wonder if you could try that idea with your mortgage company?

The audit makes further assumptions based on interviews with City employees. Again, no supporting documentation.

HRC makes conclusions arrived via hearsay then uses the magic of extrapolation to arrive at a sum of money supposedly owed by StadCo to the City.

It appears this audit and the auditors completed a document that did exactly what the Mayor intended. Make assumptions that would make political hay.

And that is what we have, a stack of straw with questionable conclusions.

The auditors claim they were not given possession of all the stadium event contracts. These would include shows like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and WrestleMania.

However, they could read the contracts at the stadium, they just couldn’t copy or remove them from the premises.

This should not be an issue since proprietary contract confidentiality is protected by both state and Federal law. Apparently, the auditors and the Mayor are unfamiliar with those laws.

One of the glaring omissions from the audit is a letter sent from StadCo to the City last November. This letter was a review of the parking agreement between the City and StadCo, which indicates the City overbilled StadCo and Stadco overpaid the City, $1.1 million for golf course parking.

Most likely, the City will wind up owing StadCo money and we will not be the recipient of millions as the Mayor promised.

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Owens Corning

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