Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Controller, Legislators Unveil Package of Bills to Improve Oversight of Local Finances

PR11:05
2/8/2011
Contact: HALLYE JORDAN
916-445-2636
SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang and legislative authors today unveiled a package of bills he is sponsoring to provide greater financial oversight of and assistance to cities, counties and special districts.

“These bills will help ensure that local communities and agencies have the assistance they need from the State to keep their communities fiscally healthy, and that the State has the authority to step in to identify and prevent problems,” Chiang said.  “The City of Bell has been a vivid illustration of the devastation that can occur when there is little accountability over how local dollars are spent in our communities.  It is time for the State to have a role in making sure sound fiscal management is being practiced at the local level so that all public dollars are protected.”

While the State Controller’s Office can audit local agencies over their handling of state and federal funds, and when there are problems seen in financial reports filed with the Controller, there is no authority to audit local taxes, bonds or other funds.  SB 186 by Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) would expand the Controller’s authority to perform discretionary audits to ensure compliance with local ordinances and state law.

SB 186 will help prevent public corruption and fraud by providing greater public oversight of government funds,” said Kehoe.  “The public deserves to have confidence in their local governments and know that public officials are acting ethically and legally.  This bill will do that.”

A bill by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica, will authorize the State Controller to conduct an audit of a local agency facing serious financial stress and would assemble a committee of fiscal experts to provide advice and assistance to local agencies in need.

“The state should not wait until a local entity is at risk of complete financial failure before lending assistance,” Pavley said.  “This bill will help prevent problems at the local level, and allow the State to step in with a variety of resources to keep the agency solvent.”

AB 229 by Assembly Member Ricardo Lara (D-Southgate) would increase the number of quality control reviews the Controller can perform of independent, private auditors hired by local governments to prepare their annual audits.

“Private firms hired by the local agency to perform their annual audits must adhere to strong accounting procedures and act independently of the entity that is paying their bill,” Lara said. “AB 229 will overhaul our system of auditing California’s cities and counties to ensure that every dollar is accounted for and every agency is held to a higher standard of accountability.”

Most local government agencies are required to file financial transaction reports with the Controller.  But with relatively small penalties, some refuse to file, or file late, resulting in little, or late, financial oversight by the State.  AB 276 by Assembly Member Luis A. Alejo, D-Salinas, would double the penalties, and triple them in serious cases, and require the Controller to audit the agency if it fails to file a report for three consecutive years.

“These reports provide insight into a local agency’s financial health in order to identify any mismanagement,” Alejo said.  “Agencies that habitually fail to comply would face stronger consequences.”

Under current law, the Controller’s Office is required to prescribe uniform accounting and reporting procedures to counties and special districts.  AB 253 by Assembly Member Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, would expand that requirement to include cities.  It also would create a committee made up of city officials and finance officers to assist in developing the guidelines.

“Required guidelines will help all cities manage and report their finances in a uniform manner,” Smyth said. “This bill will increase the level of accountability and professionalism of the financial reports filed by cities.”

“This bi-partisan legislative package shows that we all share the goal of improving California’s fiscal health at all levels of government,” Controller Chiang said.  “I thank the Senators and Assembly Members for their leadership in this effort.”
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Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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