Elizabeth Salaam 8:30 a.m., July 2
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Coronado City & School District Refuse Public Records Request
Both the City and School District of Coronado have refused to comply with State and Federal Laws regulating Public Record Requests. Both Agencies have refused to release the Monthly Bank Statements showing the Checks issued and Deposits processed through the General Fund. Both Agencies have also refused to release the Individual Transactions on General Ledger. The City is also being very insistent in their refusal to disclose the Tourist Occupancy Tax (TOT) before I have requested any information on the TOT.
Amazing Both the City and School District use the same excuses:
- There are no Monthly Bank Statements Showing the Checks and Deposits.
Incorrect. Of course the Bank keeps their own records. A government agency bank account is processed no differently than any other account. The Bank also assigns a Representative to every government agency account to assist the Agencies to properly maintain their accounts.
Reconciling bank statements is a basic and important part of bookkeeping. I believe both Agencies when they say they do not view or even know that monthly bank statements exists. This shows the Agencies' lack of internal controls and total disregard for the Taxpayer's dollar.
- We don't have to give you information we don't use ourselves.
Incorrect. The fact that the Agencies ignore their own Bank Statements and General Ledger does not mean that they are no longer part of Public Records.
- There are no individual transactions on the General Ledger, only summaries.
Incorrect. A General Ledger is the basis of accounting. It is where all of the transactions are 'supposed' to be recorded. General Ledgers do not come from Santa Claus. Every transaction is individually input into the computer by a human. It is not possible to have 'answers' and 'summaries' without the original data, but it is possible to manipulate the summaries.
- City Claims the Transit Occupancy Tax is Confidential Information.
Incorrect. A Local Agency can not supersede State and Federal Laws. The City references California Government Code 6254 (I) “ Information required from any taxpayer in connection with the collection of local taxes that is received in confidence and the disclosure of the information to other persons would result in unfair competitive disadvantage to the person supplying the information.”
This excuse does not apply to the TOT. The TOT should have no baring on competition because every hotel throughout Coronado is 'supposed' to be adding the same percentage of TOT to their customers' bill. I don't know if the City is pocketing the TOT or allowing some hotels to not pay, but the fact that the City refused to show the TOT without being asked for the information is a big red flag.
I did not ask for any information on the TOT, but the City immediately started protecting the TOT because they know it will show up on the General Ledger that they pretend does not exists. The City of Coronado has caught themselves in a lie.
It is disgusting that government agencies are so corrupt that they consider Taxpayer dollars their personal endowments, but it is the reason the Citizenry is paying massive taxes and receiving less services. I will file with the San Diego Court to force the City and School District to comply with State and Federal Law.
I will also file a complaint with the Grand Jury to investigate lack of transparency, lack of proper accounting procedures, and failure to comply with State and Federal law. Let the City Council and School Board explain to the Grand Jury how they have been ratifying checks for years when they are not allowed to view the books.
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