Listed below are answers from out city staff to the many questions, allegations of wrong doing and or missing money. The topics answer the questions posed here on Patch. I hope this answers most of the questions, but if you have more on the finances, please submit them in writing to the City Council or the City Manager and we will do our best to get a answer.
Topic: What is “STD”?
STD stands for “Short Term Disability” insurance. The City provides STD insurance to all full time employees through Guardian. This is an alternative to the CA State Disability Insurance (SDI) Program.
Topic: “Health & Fitness Reimbursements are being heavily skewed, are higher than normal, and have no employee name beginning 05/04/12”.
On 5/4/12, the City began including employee’s MOU approved reimbursements in their paychecks.
This provides 1) convenience of direct deposit for employees and 2) saves finance staff the time/resources of manually printing those additional checks each quarter. As a result, the general ledger now shows a lump sum of “Health & Fitness Reimbursement” for all employees who received a reimbursement (previously employees were listed individually). For budgeting purposes, this is also broken down by department and the expense is charged to that department.
Topic: “Employees have received wellness reimbursements above the MOU approved amount of $50/month ($600/year)”.
On 7/23/10, 8/2/10, and 1/28/11, three employees received wellness reimbursements ranging between $1,500 and $1,700, well outside of the approved amounts. These transactions were actually education reimbursements that were coded using the wrong description. Per the MOUs, employees are eligible for education reimbursements at current Cal-State rates.
Wellness reimbursement funds are a use it or lose it benefit; funds can’t be rolled over to the next year or banked for multiple years. Reimbursements are limited to the employee only; family members are not eligible. All reimbursements are screened by two separate HR staff members to ensure eligibility and compliance with current MOUs prior to being submitted to finance for payment.
Topic: “The City approves payments to Mutual of Omaha, but the City doesn’t have Mutual of Omaha insurance”;
Employee’s deferred compensation accounts are through Mutual of Omaha. Employees make voluntary contributions to these accounts and receive up to a 5% or $5,000 match (whichever is less) from the City. Employees who waive City insurance and have proof of alternate insurance, are eligible to have their unused insurance premiums (employee only rate) placed in deferred comp.
Topic: “City council receives employee benefits”;
City council members are considered employees of the City and, as such, are eligible for medical insurance. If a council member waives the insurance and provide proof of alternate insurance, then they are eligible to have their unused insurance premiums (employee only rate) placed in deferred comp.
Topic: “The payroll dates on the warrant list don’t match the payroll deductions on the bank statements”.
For reference purposes, the dates listed on the check warrant are the pay period end date. The dates listed on the bank statements are the actual dates that employees are paid. Pay periods end on a Thursday and employees receive their paychecks on the following Friday, a difference of eight days.
Topic: “The payroll amounts on the warrant list don’t match the payroll deductions on the bank statements”.
Payroll includes a combination of direct deposit checks and live checks. The warrant list indicates the total payroll amount in one lump sum. The bank statements breakout payroll amounts between direct deposit and live checks.
Topic: “Transaction #214404 on 7/26/12 for “Workers Comp” does not show on the bank statements”.
The transaction is on the City’s bank statement in the amount of $515,801 on 7/26/12. It was a wire transfer to PASIS, the JPA that handles the City’s workers comp.
Topic: “The check dates on the warrant list for Mutual of Omaha don’t match the dates on the bank statements”.
For reference purposes, the dates listed on the check warrant are the pay period end date. Contributions are generally sent to Mutual of Omaha several weeks after the end of the pay period.
Topic: “Transaction #207206 was dated 6/30/11 for $9,778,347.78, $4,492,567.72, and $10,473,775.60”.
This is a computer generated entry carrying forward assets/liabilities from one fiscal year to the next.