The City of Imperial Beach calls this Department 'Redevelopment Non-Housing'. The Budget states this department is responsible for working with property owners to rehabilitate homes or with developers to construct new commercial and residential projects. The budget also list this department as 'Status Quo', meaning they 'leave it as it is'. Cuts to this budget are not considered.
The total budget for this department is $1,678,258. Employee costs are budgeted at $781,395 and lists a percentage of wages for 15 city employees that are the heads of departments and their secretaries, the mayor, and all four councilmen. When I asked Mayor Janney why all of these hours are allocated to this department he replied: “Because that's where we spend our time.”
20-06 Professional Services total $298,804.50. All checks are coded '405-1260-413.20-06' except one that is coded '513' – which is not an accounting code on the budget.
02/09/12 - Check # 79938 - $200,000 – Paid to 'Goodwill' with the memo 'Settlement'. A settlement is not a 'professional service' and RDA money can not be used for settlements. This is why the State has froze the 9th/Palm property.
Of the remaining Other Costs; $98,777.65 is coded to '20-01 - Attorney fees', but there is $155,433.56 in total attorney fees. The other fees are coded under '20-06 - professional services'
$80,223.41 are checks issued to the City Attorney law firm of McDougal Love
$69,059.15 to Law Firm of Kane Ballmer
$5,497.00 to law firm of Lance Soll
$264.00 to law firm of Opper Varco
McDougal Love does have one check for $13,599.79 issued the same date the Goodwill check was issued with the memo stating: 'Southbay,Goodwill'. All other McDougal Love checks only state the month the work done. Most of the other law firms' memos state: '9th/palm' or 'RDA'.
DKC Association - $18,827.23
NBS Government Financing - $2,800.00
Nasland Engineering was paid $9,033.11 for 'Date Street End'.
Keyser Marston has one check for $2,745.88 with the memo: '9th/palm'.
KOA Construction has one check for $2,551.43 with memo: 'eco bike july'.
Mireles Landscaping has three $1,000 check with memo: '9th/palm.
Let's Review: From a $1,678,258 total budget $781,395 is employee costs. Of the $896,863 other costs listed on the budget we have $409,406.71 in actual expenses. $200,000 is a hidden settlement check and $ 155,433.56 is attorney fees. The rest of the charges should have been coded to the same department as the other charges for the job.
This Department's only use is to hide money.