Friday, October 9, 2009

ICRC works to repair reporting to county

At its Oct. 8 meeting, the Idyllwild Community Recreation Council (ICRC) discussed changes it is making to improve its reporting procedures to the county – changes brought on by a Sept. 17 meeting called by Bill Brown, operations manager for Riverside County’s County Service Areas (CSA). Brown pointed out to the ICRC board at the Sept. 17 meeting a number of areas in which ICRC had a duty to report directly to Brown as well as to the CSA 36 advisory committee. ICRC had been reporting only to the CSA advisory committee since taking over the recreation contract over two years ago.

Although the reporting responsibilities are outlined in the ICRC contract with the county, an individual on Brown’s staff had been tasked with seeing that ICRC met its direct reporting responsibilities to the county. That staff person failed to notify ICRC of any reporting errors in over two and a half years. Consequently, when that person left his county position, Brown took over personal responsibility for overseeing ICRC compliance.

ICRC board member Vic Sirkin stated that the board had requested someone from Brown’s staff sit down with the board to make certain that their compliance would be error free from this point on. ICRC accountant Jim Ludy revised Town Hall Recreation statement of revenues and expenses format, also to accommodate and answer questions from Brown. Brown had questioned previous reports that appeared to allocate 72 percent of budget to salaries and only 9 percent to programs. Ludy’s reallocations, charging percentages of some salaries to program supervision and maintenance, revised the overall percentages. With that reallocation, not including additional estimates Ludy could have made which would have raised budget percentages spent on programs, the 2009/2010 budget now allocates 35 percent to programs, 44 percent to administrative wages and benefits, 10 percent to operational expenses, and 11 percent to maintenance wages, benefits and expenses.

Board Chair Chris Singer noted that the county was withholding a $10,000 allocation to build the ICRC par (exercise) course from 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone until Brown receives answers from ICRC regarding questions he formulated after the Sept. 17 meeting. ICRC has not yet received those questions. Brown had sent them, but previous Board treasurer Reba Coulter had the mailbox key, had not, according to Singer, checked the mail, and the certified mail from Brown was returned. Brown is resending them. Singer said ICRC would convene a special meeting to formulate answers to Brown’s inquiries and return them to Brown. Because of the holdup of the check from Stone, ICRC has delayed ordering the exercise course equipment. Sirkin reported that once ordered, equipment would take 40 days to receive, but that now, with the onset of winter, there is little urgency to install equipment until the spring. Sirkin noted however that by adequately covering the walking course with bark chips, it could facilitate providing a recreational venue for the community as soon as bark chips are laid down.

In other business, the board voted to approve Joann Graham as the board’s new treasurer. Graham, a local escrow officer and current Jazz in the Pines treasurer, will begin working for the board sometime before November 1.

Singer also reported that Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) committee member Robert Priefer has completed talks with three prospective architectural firms, and that each agreed that the current renderings for the ICC could be completed easily within the proposed $6 million dollar budget. Each of the three firms is either building community centers or has built them in the past.

ICRC is currently $142 under budget for the year.

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