October 4, 2021 - Presentation to A/H Library Board Re: Budget and Financial Concerns

These are the speaking notes used by Gritt Koehl in her presentation to the Alnwick/Haldimand Library Board.

DATA COMPILATION

REVENUE

Library Revenues took a huge hit in 2019 and 2020.
A Deficit of 21,157 was recorded at the end of 2019 - no formal report to explain.
A Deficit of 13,557 was recorded in 2020 - no formal report to explain.
The new Treasurer prepared budgets for the Library Board, Police Services Board and the Community Centre Committees. This did not go over well, as it is the Boards' responsibility to prepare their budgets, submit them to Council, Council to determine they are reasonable and approve them.

How can Township Treasurer report a deficit in 2019 and 2020 for the Library, without consensus with the AHLB, especially given that Library Expense always exceeds Revenue, and is funded from money raised through taxation?

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES vs RESERVES

Where did the 34,714 Deficit amount charged to the Library come from?

Where/which Ledger account did the 34,714 amount recovered from the Library go to?

What is the difference between the amount in 2020 (8,415) and the amounts in 2019 (5,000) and 2018 (5,125) that qualifies in the first amount as being called a Reserve and the other amounts being called Development Charges?

BILL FERGUSON COMMENTS

Bill agreed to allow his comments and notes to be included in this presentation, because it brings forward the attempts by the AHLB to get answers from the Treasurer. He was met with pushback and told that the AHLB would have to look after its own finances going forward and that Council would be getting a report to that effect.

I wrote to Council/Staff as well. My question:

Can a financial report be prepared showing the alleged misuse of Development Charges, including the account transactions and transfers that took place?

I received no response either.

In fact, shortly after that - I, members of the Library Board and other residents were told to go through the CAO going forward if they had questions for the Treasurer.

An interesting provincial government site I came across regarding Development Charges, stated that they are discretionary fees. Municipalities can choose whether to use DCs, if they are use, which services or infrastructure they want to include from the list of eligible services.

One of the eligible items on the list was "services provided by a board under the Public Libraries Act".

My recommendation is that AHLB ask the Auditors directly to provide a professional explanation on this matter.

LIBRARY RESERVES

It is disturbing to see that Library Reserves have been drawn down since 2013 from 30,853 to 4,723 at the end of 2020, with no attempt to put money into reserves on an annual basis for the potential new build.

There was 3,711.15 showing under Library Reserves - Accessibility, but that has been moved out of the Library Reserve into a Reserve titled Accessibility. It is still earmarked Library Accessibility, but the concern is whether this will go towards Library accessibility.

EXPENSE

2021 is on target to be over budget by 6,350 even taking into account the prepaid Township Expense of 13,348.

2021: We are still under Pandemic protocols. What has changed to cause wages to increase by 24,155 from 2020 Actuals to 2021 Budget?

Why are the 2021 Actuals to June 30th already over budget?

Why hasn't the 2020 Expense savings of 27,786 realized during the Pandemic been transferred into Library Reserves?

Why hasn't the 2020 Wages/Benefits savings of 23,855 realized been put into Library Reserves?

STAFFING STRUCTURE/SCHEDULING

Is it reasonable for a Township with the population of A/H to have a full-time CEO or Chief Librarian?

Who on Staff has the degrees to go along with the Titles of CEO or Chief Librarian? Should Titles be given without the requisite requirements?

At a time when costs appear to be rising out of control, would this be a good time to explore Titles and Job Descriptions that reflect the part-time nature of our libraries?

Can the concept of Manager of Libraries (lesser qualifications) be explored as an alternative to CEO requiring degrees, and wages set at a fair rate accordingly?

TOWNSHIP EXPENSE - Part One

There are major concerns with respect to Township Expense. In just 3 years costs associated with Township facilities and administration have increased 210% from 10,300 at the end of 2018 to 31,995 at the end of 2021 - a whopping 21,700 increase!

AHLB tried on several occasions to get answers from the Treasurer in March 2020, as they were rightfully concerned about the huge increases. It wasn't until November 2020 that the Treasurer provided a chart showing a breakdown of expenses. Questions remained unanswered, because the costs were still too high.

TOWNSHIP EXPENSE - Part Two

Here we get into the analysis of the actual expenses, as well as a comparison of 2021 Budget for A/H to Cramahe's Budget for related expense. A/H figures are almost 9,600 higher for one year than Cramahe.

INSURANCE

There is something wrong here. Cramahe and A/H use the same Insurance Broker, McGlennan Insurance. The policy costs are similar and very high due to liability issues. However, Cramahe Library will only pay 3,200 for Insurance in 2021, yet A/H Library has already paid 8,900 for 2021! How can this be justified?

GROUNDS/BUILDING MAINTENANCE

Why are costs in 2019 and 2020 excessively high?

Will AHLB be hit with excessively high Actuals for 2021 as happened in 2020 and 2019?

REDUNDANT ACCOUNTS NEED TO BE REMOVED

Fire Inspections, Water Tests and Cleaning Supplies were all taken care of under the umbrella of Township Expense. These extra line items need to be removed from the Library Ledger.

HR & ACCOUNTING SERVICES

Was Council aware that this was going to happen, and did they approve this change in a Resolution or Motion of Council?

Why was there no financial report showing justification for these new charges to the Library Board?

AHLB - HR MANAGEMENT, BOOKKEEPING, PAYROLL, BUDGET & REPORTS

After following the Library Board Meetings for over a year now, delving into the issues facing the AHLB, I feel strongly that the Board would benefit from taking over its own bookkeeping and payroll. Not only will you see a reduction in WSIB costs, but you will realize huge savings over what the Treasurer is charging annually.

Annual AH Treasurer Costs:       7,000
Annual QuickBooks Program:    1,330 Online
                                                   1,900 Desktop

That's an annual savings of between 5,100 up to 5,600 per year, plus 3,500 every 3 years for in-house pay equity review.

These are the documents that were submitted to the Library Board in support of the presentation.

2021-10-04 Presentation to Alnwick/Haldimand Library Board

A/H Library Revenue Details

A/H Library Expense Details