Kim Kerr Savaged by former employer in Grand Jury Report
Kerr is characterized as having “misled” the City Council. She is also reported to "not demonstrate that she possessed the proper qualifications and expertise to perform the duties required for that position."
”The Grand Jury finds that on many occasions the city manager provided insufficient or misleading information, making it difficult or impossible for the City Council to cast intelligent votes.”
The most direct and personal findings state:
“city manager for the fiscal period 2007-2011 did not demonstrate that she possessed the proper qualifications and expertise to perform the duties required for that position.”
Now the City Council responds to Grand Jury Report and points the finger at former City Manager Kim Kerr.
"Former City Manager Kim Kerr's budget documents were difficult to decipher, were inaccurate, and contained errors."
"sifted through the financial irregularities left them by the former City Manager"
"did not demonstrate that she possessed the proper qualifications and expertise to perform the duties required for that position."
City working with Amador District Attorney to determine what,
"action should be taken against former City Manager Kerr."
GRAND JURY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Finding #1: The City Manager for the fiscal period 2007-2011 did not demonstrate that she possessed the proper qualifications and expertise to perform the duties required for that position. (Facts #1 -3)
Agree. The City is working closely with both the Amador County Counsel and with the Amador District Attorney to determine what, if any, action should be taken against former City Manager Kerr.
Findings #3: That on many occasions the City Manager (Kim Kerr) provided insufficient or misleading information making it difficult or impossible for the City Council to cast intelligent votes. (Fact #3)
Agree. Former City Manager Kim Kerr's budget documents were difficult to decipher, were inaccurate, and contained errors. The City's administration has made great strides, however, during the 2011-2012 fiscal year to provide accurate and timely budget information to the City Council and to the public. Budget documents are now presented in a standard format successfully used by municipalities throughout California. Reconciliation of past financial irregularities is ongoing and the City of lone intends to retain a Certified Public Accountant to complete the reconciliation effort in the near term.
Finding #4: The City Council failed to ask proper questions regarding many of the votes pertaining to consultants, budgets, and previous audits during the fiscal period 2007-2011. (Fact #1)
Partially agree. The City Council was dependent on the information provided it by former City Manager Kim Kerr. The City Council could have been more proactive to meet with staff in advance of Council meetings to ask questions and to better understand the rationale behind the staff recommendations. This would have given City Council members the necessary knowledge to publicly question the need for various expenditures from the dais while also answering constituent questions. Current City management is working to enhance public communication and to provide Councilmembers and the public with accurate financial and project information in advance of City Council meetings. This should enable the City Council to make proper inquiry of staff and to better monitor such expenditures.
Finding #5: The City Manager solely oversaw the expenditures for consultants and did not maintain proper payment procedures. (Facts #1-3)
Agree. The City Manager, Kim Kerr, was responsible for reviewing and approving consultant invoices, for authorizing payments, and for signing checks, potential violations of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Current City accounting practices involve appropriate checks and balances as well as more stringent oversight of contracts, invoicing, and City expenditures.
Finding #8: The Grand Jury finds that the City Manager and City Council ignored complaints voiced by local citizens at City Council meetings concerning financial matters and problems surrounding the proposed wastewater treatment plant.
Partially Agree. Since the City's 2010-2011 Response to the Grand Jury, the City Council has listened pro-actively to all of its citizens. The Interim City Manager and City Council diligently sifted through the financial irregularities left them by the former City Manager and have ...
Finding #10. Based on all the information provided by the City, the forensic investigation and interviews; the financial situation in lone is the result of poor management and leadership by the City Council in the fiscal period 2007-2011. (Facts #1-3)
Partially Agree. While the City Council agrees that it should avail itself of trainings offered by the League of California Cities which might improve leadership, the root cause of the financial situation in lone was the dissemination of inaccurate information by its former City Manager, slowing economic development and decisions made based on a plan to achieve regionalization and re-use of wastewater in and around lone. If the City Manager provides inaccurate or incorrect information, the City Council's decisions are necessarily flawed because such decisions are made based on incorrect financial information.
Finding #11. That it is a conflict of interest for the City Manager to represent both the City Council and city employees in bargaining unit contract negotiations. (Fact #4)
Partially Agree. ... Ms. Kerr represented the City Council while employee units were represented by their union representatives.
The possibility of a conflict involving Ms. Kerr arose from language in Ms. Kerr's City Manager contract providing that "Manager shall automatically receive any cost of living or other ' across the board' salary or fringe benefit increases provided to the miscellaneous employees union." This clause provided Ms. Kerr with a disincentive to eliminate, despite declining City revenues, increases to employee salary, because the elimination of COLA or other raises could eliminate future increases to Ms. Kerr's salary. Ms. Kerr may not have been sufficiently motivated to freeze cost of living or step increases as freezing City employee salaries would also have the effect of freezing the City Manager's salary.
The new contract for City Manager Pattison does not contain such a clause and he may, therefore, properly represent the City Council in negotiations with employee bargaining units as he does not have a vested interest in keeping City staff salaries and benefits high so as to increase his own salary and benefits. That said, if the City's financial condition improves, the City Council will consider the use of an outside negotiator to represent the City Council in employee bargaining unit negotiations.
Regarding her overall qualifications for the job, Kerr noted that she had worked for more than 15 years in Humboldt and Solano Counties in various administrative positions, with particular expertise in risk management and insurance-related issues. She also served as ssistant CAO in Humboldt County.
Prior to county government, Kerr’s resume shows that she spent eight years in the U.S. Army, leaving with the rank of staff sergeant, primarily working in military law enforcement and training.
In addition to public service experience, Kerr’s application for employment with El Dorado County describes a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a BA in Criminal Justice along with numerous professional and specialty classes.
read the full report (PDF) here: http://www.voiceinione.com/Documents/GrandJuryReports/2011-2012/2011-2012GJR-Response.pdf