[Adopted 4-26-1999 by Ord. No. 1077 (Secs. 2-71 to 2-74 of the 1979 Code)]
The Town Council finds that it is in the interest of the residents of the Town of Johnston (hereinafter called the “Town”) to establish a Johnston Financial Review Board (“Board”) for the purpose of monitoring the financial operations of the Town including those of the School Department. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, this Board is considered to be strictly advisory in nature.
The Johnston Financial Review Board shall be composed of seven members as follows:
Each member of the Board shall be a qualified elector and resident of the Town or shall be employed by or be practicing his or her business, occupation or profession in or out of an office located within the Town. Members appointed by the State Director of Administration and State Auditor General are exempt from this provision.
A majority of the membership should consist of individuals with professional expertise in the areas of law, banking, finance, accounting, business, or government operations.
None of the members shall have any contractual arrangement with the Town, other than as a member of the Board, or any of its departments, which provides for compensation or economic benefits to such person during his or her term on the Board.
No member shall hold elective office in the Town, nor be a candidate for elective office.
Appointing authorities shall make their appointments within 15 days of the passage of this article and the Board shall commence proceedings within 25 days of passage of this article.
Each member of the Board shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority. In no event shall the appointment extend beyond the tenure of that member's appointing authority and until his respective successor is appointed and qualified.
The Board may adopt rules of procedure, as it deems necessary and proper to regulate its meetings.
The Auditor General shall select the Chairperson of the Board from its membership.
The Board shall meet on a monthly basis, but shall convene more frequently if circumstances warrant closer monitoring of the Town's financial condition.
The Board shall serve without salary or per diem allowance. The Town shall provide secretarial services to the Board for the conduct of meetings.
All departments, employees, agencies, and elected and appointed officials of the Town shall be required to cooperate with the Board. The Board shall have access to all records and books of account of the Town and may require the attendance of Town officials and the production of records, papers, contracts, and other documents relating to any matter within its authority. The Board shall be prohibited from relating to any matter within its authority. The Board shall be prohibited from disclosing records considered to be confidential under state or federal law.
The Board shall remain in existence for five years to coincide with the time frame for repayment of the deficit funding bonds. However, it shall remain in existence for a longer period if deemed necessary by the State of Rhode Island Auditor General or Director of Administration.
The Johnston Financial Review Board shall have the following powers and duties:
To monitor the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report of the Johnston Financial Review Commission issued May 8, 1998. This shall include:
Ascertaining that appropriate timetables have been established by the Town for implementing each of the Commission's recommendations, provided that all recommendations be implemented by June 30, 1999.
Ascertaining that the task of implementing each recommendation is assigned to the appropriate responsible individual;
Monitoring the progress of each recommendation during the implementation period;
Reporting to the Auditor General monthly on the Town's progress, including any matters which may delay implementation.
To analyze all factors affecting the Town's ongoing financial condition and propose corrective action to the Mayor and Town Council as needed to help remedy such condition.
To obtain reports and data from the Town, in order to substantiate revenue estimates to fund the Town's fiscal year operating budgets and monitor collection of those revenues.
To review expenditures including personnel costs to ascertain compliance with the adopted budget.
To review and advise the Town on the annual operating and capital budgets including the School Departments request. This review by the Board is not a prerequisite or condition to adoption of the Town budget.
To review and advise the Town on any single expenditure of $5,000 or more, any collective bargaining agreement or other contract, or the employment of any person or engagement of any consultant, after determining its fiscal impact on the Town. The Board shall be given written notice of any proposed expenditure or action of these types, and shall have 15 days to review the proposal and comment thereon prior to an expenditure being made or funds being encumbered or otherwise committed. This provision shall not apply to expenditures made necessary by emergencies that directly threaten public health or safety. Emergency expenditures, encumbrances or commitments shall be reported to the Board in writing, however, together with information documenting the emergency, within five days after the occurrence of the emergency. This subsection is not intended to require approval of the Board for expenditure of funds, execution of contract or engagement of individuals or consultants.
To review and advise the Town on any action that would incur short- or long-term debt by the Town through the issuance of bonds or notes, or by any other means. The Board shall be given written notice of any proposed borrowing and shall provide an advisory opinion within 60 days of receipt of such notice. This subsection is not intended to require approval of the Board for issuance of debt.
To require the Finance Director to promptly deliver monthly budget to actual reports for revenues and expenditures; to require and prescribe the form of any other financial reports to be made by the Finance Director, Tax Collector, and any department director or other officer or employee of the Town to keep the Board continually and promptly informed of the Town's financial condition.
To consult with the Town's auditors during the performance of each annual audit, receive and review the annual audit report, and monitor the Town's compliance with developing a corrective action plan for all management recommendations.
To review the Town's operations as necessary and make recommendations where applicable to improve productivity and/or reduce costs. In this regard the Board may work with the Town in establishing cost review committees comprised of Town employees and/or interested Town citizens to help find and report cost savings measures to the Board. The cost review committees shall serve without salary as per diem allowance and shall have no enforcement powers to cut costs.
To issue a written report quarterly to the Mayor, Town Council, State Auditor General and State Director of Administration on the Town's progress in implementing and retaining effective cash management and financial and budgetary controls. In addition, the aforementioned officials should be notified immediately if it appears the Town is in danger of incurring additional deficits, budgetary problems, or cash flow problems which will prevent Johnston from meeting its obligations as they come due.