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April 19, 2024

Park District to Clark County: Monthly Financial Report so inaccurate we can’t pay any bills –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 19, 2016


We will take your taxes, but you are not good enough to work here

In their usual form, the majority of the Board of Commissioners voted to allow their Director, who has violated district policy every single day she shows up at work, to hire people from outside of the district. The policy of hiring in-district had been in place for more than 20 years, and since the board has bent over backwards at every turn after having Charity Murphy outed for her various activities, and approve everything she has done after-the-fact, this most recent action comes at no surprise.

What the Clark County Park District essentially told the taxpayers of the District is that “you will give us your money, but we will not hire you because you are not good enough to work here“.

No job for you, you said something I didn’t like on Facebook and you signed a petition

Commissioner Stepp put it another way when confronted with the truth that a highly qualified college graduate and district resident was turned down for a job, stating, “I wouldn’t hire her either because she made critical statements on Facebook about the director and district, and she signed a petition“.

So Stepp thinks it is OK to discriminate against people because of their political statements and because they sign a petition. I am sure residents appreciate having their civil rights violated in this manner.

Nothing too surprising with that, sadly, since he also refused to call for the resignation of Joey Ewing when presented with the facts that Ewing lied and was assisted by Charity Murphy in election fraud by changing petitions after they were turned in, giving him an advantage over other candidates.

The district’s justification for hiring outside the district is that they cannot find any qualified people to work for them. I suggest that when a public body has the quick and continuous turn-over the CCPD has experienced, it is a fairly good indication that the employees are not the problem, but the Director is. Look to the person in charge when faced with massive employee churning.  And if they ever come to the point of understanding that fact, they can then look in the mirror and see why they have so many problems with the Director they hired. To say leadership is lacking would be an understatement.

Financial report so screwed up, we cannot pay the bills

In other business, the monthly financial report was, as usual, completely inaccurate and misleading. It was so bad this month, that the board decided not to pay any bills because they couldn’t figure out which ones to pay. There were some that were paid last month and listed again for payment this month. There were checks to be signed that were not listed as payments to be made, there were payments listed with no checks to pay them. That is how bad it was – no bills got paid.

It is well-known, the monthly reports have been inaccurate for months and months, and that the Director has not been making the required bank deposits – even incurring overdraft charges on bank accounts.

Overdrawn accounts – employee loans district money to pay bills

At the last meeting, Park Director Charity Murphy was directed to provide an accounting of all money on-hand – the following morning. According to our sources, she has failed to even tell the commissioners how much money the district has on hand. She finally deposited check(s) that were written to the district more than 6 months ago.

An employee had to loan the district $2800 to keep more checks from incurring overdraft charges and possibly bouncing. We know that because the employee submitted deposit slips asking for her money back.

The finance committee was tasked with sorting out the checks, bills, and financial report so the board can call a special meeting to review and vote on paying bills.

We suspect this chaos will continue until a new Director his hired and certain board members are replaced.
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  • Dave L.
    Posted at 09:36h, 19 August

    None of this is a surprise to me…..the park district is famous for hiring non district residents to staff the gatehouse, be camp hosts, etc….as for the finances, Kuehnel needs to step up and do his job as Treasurer, and be more hands on with day to day finances. We never had that problem when Jeff Wallace was Treasurer.

    • truth
      Posted at 10:07h, 19 August

      Dave you give credit to JW on his superb job of being the treasurer. I can tell you straight up that he never put foot in the office to go over financials before a meeting, never did, ever.

      • JW
        Posted at 19:33h, 20 August

        The Treasurer of a Park District mainly serves a few important functions. BUDGET. The Treasurer (and Finance Committee) should develop a Budget that is truthful and as accurate as possible by reviewing historical data and trends, and also review the finances to run a facility, staffing, events, and capital investment. Many hours were usually dedicated with staff and committee members to “get it right”. During my tenure as Treasurer, the Budget was ALWAYS completed, posted to the public, and adopted on a timely basis. It should be reviewed as necessary (in my case, the Board received monthly reports showing us where we were to date on line items). It was never necessary to revise a Budget during my tenure. I took this as one of my most important tasks, as creating a good budget (and living by it) is the backbone to a well-functioning District (in my opinion). RESPONSIBILTY TO THE BOARD AND TAXING BODY. It is the Treasurer’s responsibility to serve as the “go-to” person on the Board if there were questions regarding financial health (in conjunction with the Director). It was incredibly imperative to me to see that the taxes that we collected be administered and spent as wisely as possible. I always believed living within one’s means…I did not believe in raising taxes. The easy way out is to raise taxes. I prefer to do it the hard way by tightening the belt. There was NEVER a need (in my opinion) for the Treasurer (myself) to meet one-on-one with the Director to go over Financial documents or statements. Our packets were usually received some days before the Board meeting. If I had questions, I might call the Director to ask a question prior to the meeting for clarification. The District’s finances were never so complex as to require a meeting to go over them prior to a meeting. We would hold meetings with the Finance Committee if that was necessary. Of course, the Treasurer always carries the burden of signing checks and financial documents (something that should not be taken lightly) Now….only in my few final years as Treasurer did I have concerns. The Board became reckless in its spending. I became concerned about our fuel expenditures/receipts. I could not get answers to that particular item (fell on deaf ears). And I also did not like nor feel compfortable with the way Advanced Reservations was being done (financially recorded). When I was not re-voted in as Treasurer, I kind of felt relief, as I did not just feel compfortable with the direction we (the Board mainly) was headed. And boy, did it go downhill…. This also played into my decision to resign as a Board member. I became so concerned that I wanted to get Director and Officer insurance to try to give me some level of protection from the Board and Direector’s law-breaking and horrid habits, but it was pretty expensive. Plus, I had already been arrested once due to these dimwits. Just my thoughts.

      • Dave L.
        Posted at 08:56h, 21 August

        Maybe Jeff never had to set foot in the office to “go over” financials, because he KNEW what they looked like! Our current treasurer has no clue the financial condition of the district…..what kind of treasurer adds a $100 grand out of thin air to balance a proposed budget?? He needs to go!

        • JW
          Posted at 19:30h, 21 August

          You are CORRECT Dave L. It is not the responsibility of the Board to RUN THE PARK and deal with day-to-day operations of the District. That is beyond the scope of the Board’s function. If the Board is having to do this, then the Director and/or staff is failing at their responsibilities and duties. It really is that simple.

          • Lisa Thomas
            Posted at 17:35h, 22 August

            JW has hit the nail on the head. Since the director has failed so bad at managing the park employees resulting in FALSE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS she has endangered the park district. 3 separate deposits were just laying in the safe from DECEMBER 2015 that were deposited in July 2016. No excuse for this except incompetence. This has went on for over a year and quite possibly longer. The director has now had 2 years yo to straighten out and still hasn’t done so!

  • Dave
    Posted at 10:14h, 19 August

    Clark county Park district fascism!

    “In other business, the monthly financial report was, as usual, completely inaccurate and misleading.”

    In the real world the person responsible would be fired for such incompetence!

  • BigDog
    Posted at 17:57h, 19 August

    This has all the earmarks of employee’s stealing money. There is no reason to not deposit checks unless you are siphoning that money somewhere.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 07:39h, 20 August

    I attended the Mill Creek Park meeting and was impressed with board member Pine’s questions. Mr. Pines persistent questioning of the financial reports: which made no sense for the reasons outlined above, was instrumental in bringing light to the subject. As an observer, it seemed the conflicting data would lead one to believe that Mill Creek Park lost as much as, or more than $10,000 in the month of July.

    The book keeping (and management) problems at Mill Creek, if allowed to continue, will lead to the financial ruin of the park. Clearly this board has no ideal of it’s present financial condition because it’s manager has the financial statements so screwed up it cannot tell which bills have been paid, or even if it’s operating in a deficit. This has gone on for how long now under Mrs. Murphy’s management?
    Mrs. Murphy needs reassigned and replaced with someone that can deposit money when it’s collected and; this board should not be spending it’s time following her around providing basic business advice, or fixing her books or calling special meetings to do so.