Seems as if KING 5 has finally joined the Accountability Convoy heading to Coupeville. We sure welcome KING 5 participation in seeking the truth from Island Transit. One thing caught my eye in their half-complete report – namely nobody from Island Transit would go on-camera to explain the Island Transit financial mess nor has Island Transit posted to its website statements to its Board about these events.
Already Bob Pishue of the Washington Policy Center has tweeted his policy paper to KING 5. Perhaps with their silence, Island Transit 100% agrees with Mr. Pishue that ultimately, “Instead of trying to secure more money from state taxpayers, Island Transit officials should better manage public tax dollars to rebuild the public trust and restore reliable and efficient bus service.”
Recently I asked Martha Rose, Executive Director of Island Transit the following questions – which I will post here. When I get a response, I will copy-paste the replies:
BTW I listened to the audio from Friday’s meeting last night and put it online a moment ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OjjagGkHzE&feature=youtu.be. The following questions arise from my listening to the audio:
- What would have happened if Island Transit not gotten a loan for its operating budget shortfall? More cuts? Insolvency/bankruptcy?
- What exactly are these state operating grants to help transit agencies with shortfalls?
- Who provides these grants?
- Who assured Island Transit officials the grants would be likely dispersed to Island Transit?
- When will the grants arrive, if provided?
- What if the grants do not arrive and the soft money disappears? Any backup plans such as renegotiating the loan terms?
- Why are Island Transit statements given to Board Members about the fiscal crisis/morass not on the Public Information tab of the Island Transit website yet?
That e-mail to her and Island County Commissioner & Island Transit Boardmember Helen Price-Johnson was sent Tuesday at 12:40 PM/1240 Hours. I am still writing up the notes of the Island Transit meeting, and have other work.
Before calling for action, I would hope if Island Transit cannot answer these questions a through review by the Washington State Auditor’s Office can answer these questions. State Auditor Troy Kelley has promised State Senator Barbara Bailey – with my hyperlinks:
Thank you for sharing your concerns about Island Transit. I appreciated reading the attached news article and letter containing serious allegations relating to Island Transit. Although we had been in contact with the Transit’s Executive Director and seen the news article, we had not received the letter until you forwarded it to us. Additionally, we are evaluating the questions posed in the letter sent by the elected delegation for the 10th Legislative District.
Based on our communications with the Executive Director, we are scheduled to start an audit at Island Transit on August 11, 2014. Our financial and single audit will review the Transit’s fiscal year ending December 31, 2013 financial statements and federal compliance. After examining the documents you provided along with the District’s activities, we will also conduct an accountability audit to evaluate their internal controls that ensure compliance for the safeguarding, and use of, public resources.
As part of our audit work, we will evaluate the questions you have identified in your letters. Upon the completion of our audit work, we will be in contact with you to discuss our conclusions.
Without alleging anything but to be proactive one would hope since state legislators are exempt from the Public Records Act, the State Auditor’s Office will make full and immediate disclosure of their audit results – not just findings but also any management letter(s) and verbal recommendations. Because it sure appears Island Transit HQ doesn’t feel accountable to the community… or to even its rank and file.
Your relevant comments and observations are always welcome. Spammy comments will be deleted without warning.