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June 12, 2014


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This song just about sums it all up:


My bills are all due and the baby needs shoes and I'm busted
Cotton is down to a quarter a pound, but I'm busted
I got a cow that went dry and a hen that won't lay
A big stack of bills that gets bigger each day
The county's gonna haul my belongings away cause I'm busted.

I went to my brother to ask for a loan cause I was busted
I hate to beg like a dog without his bone, but I'm busted
My brother said there ain't a thing I can do,
My wife and my kids are all down with the flu,
And I was just thinking about calling on you 'cause I'm busted.

Well, I am no thief, but a man can go wrong when he's busted
The food that we canned last summer is gone and I'm busted
The fields are all bare and the cotton won't grow,
Me and my family got to pack up and go,
But I'll make a living, just where I don't know cause I'm busted.

I'm broke, no bread, I mean like nothing, It's over

So in the accounting I've reported on, I'm getting a total of $3,588,000 missing, including the $308,000 gift we mistakenly sent to the state as a part of the redevelopment wind-down. There may be other items that the city manager did not detail. There may be other developments to come.

Tom, if I understand you and Lionel, there is an outstanding loan of more than $2 million that one city fund gave to another city fund that has become unaccountable -- AND there is approximately $1.5 million in restricted funds for the Palmetto improvements that is also unaccounted for. Almost $4 million that has disappeared with a shrug. Is this what I'm understanding?

The basic concept of a loan appears to have been lost, along with unknown millions of dollars. We have, by the current count, a $4 million deficit all of a sudden.

I will be looking closely to see if the "m" word becomes involved in this affair.

Todd: This loan is an inter-fund loan, not a loan from an outside source.
Just another $2.2 million that nobody kept track of after the deal was done. I hope we got some benefit out of this money.

The other big mystery is what happened to the $1.5 million that was supposedly set aside for the first phase of the Palmetto streetscape. That is a lot of money to misplace.

Well done, Lionel. BTW, the $2.2 million loan for street improvements I think was from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority way back when the City of Pacifica was directing the highway widening project. That money was spent on Wilsey Ham and associates for various studies. SMCTA Director Joe Hurley has told me several times he doesn't expect that money back. You may want to call San Carlos and check this out, as I doubt Van Ocampo would volunteer it to the new city manager.

But if, as you say, there is finally someone at City Hall who understands city finance since Ms. Lennon's sacking, then bravo. I can only hope Ms. Tinfow finds Maureen's home phone number.

The City of Millbrae appears to lead by example: "With revenue expected to decrease this fiscal year in Millbrae, city officials are being cautious with city expenditures. ... "


I have a great deal of respect for Ms. Tinfow, and these latest revelations about how badly our finances have been handled only makes me more opposed to any new internal borrowing plan.

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