Press release provided by Manzanita 2020
A detailed review of Manzanita City budgets and audits from 1989 to 1996, the period when current city council candidate Randy Kugler was City Manager, reveals that Kugler managed the city’s overhead allocations in the same way that he has relentlessly criticized.
For months, Mr. Kugler and his supporters have criticized the way Manzanita has apportioned the City’s administrative overhead costs among the City’s departments and funds. Specifically, they have complained that allocating 50% of the compensation for the City Manager and Assistant City Manager to the Water Fund is excessive. They have also alleged that a new indirect cost plan adopted by the City Council that has the Water Fund paying 32% of those costs is too high.
Manzanita 2020, a citizens group, requested budget and audit records from the period when Kugler was City Manager. Three researchers examined those records in detail. What they found surprised them. “We didn’t know what we would find,” said Deb Tinnin, one volunteer who reviewed the records. “We just wanted to know how Mr. Kugler had managed the City’s administrative overhead when he was in charge.”
The records reveal that Mr. Kugler treated Manzanita overhead costs during his tenure in the same way that he now criticizes the current City management and City Council for using. The City’s budgets from 1989-96 show the Water Fund paid from 46% to 61% of the compensation for administrative personnel and even higher shares of other overhead costs (such as 80% of City Hall building maintenance).
Mr. Kugler now advocates that City employees fill out daily timecards to allocate their work hours among City departments and funds, but he did not do such record keeping himself when he was city manager. “We found an ‘attendance card’ that shows how many daily hours Mr. Kugler spent on the
job,” Ms. Tinnin said, “but there is no indication of time spent on different funds or departments.”
In fact, Mr. Kugler assigned the same percentage of employee time to the Water Fund every year from 1991 to 1996. There was no variation that would be expected if they were using timecards to indicate differing amounts of time spent on City departments and funds from year to year.
“It is exceedingly strange that Mr. Kugler as a candidate is criticizing the very cost-sharing measures that he fully embraced when he was a city employee,” Ms. Tinnin said.
Finally, the review found that for three years running, during Mr. Kugler’s tenure and Terry Staehnke’s term on the Budget Committee, the City’s auditor refused to express an opinion on the fairness of the City’s fixed asset balances because the City had “not maintained complete, detailed fixed asset records.”
Another volunteer researcher asked, “Do Manzanita voters really want to elect to the City Council a candidate with such a mixed record of fiscal responsibility and who engaged in practices when he was City Manager that he now condemns?”
For more financial and other election issue information, visit Manzanita2020.org