August 10, 2021

2020–2021 City Council: Linda Leeuwrik, Rick Cheatum, Roger Bray, Claudia Ortega (back row); Heidi Adamson, Brian Blad, Chris Stevens (front row) (Photo Credit: City of Pocatello)

During the August 5 City Council meeting, a series of questions asked by Council Member Roger Bray and answered by Pocatello’s acting Chief Financial Officer, Jim Krueger, revealed that aspects of the City’s financial policy, in place since September 2017, have apparently never been followed.  In addition, it was established that Krueger, who joined the City as the Chief Financial Officer in January but has since resigned, until recently, was unaware of the policy.

Bray’s questioning revealed that, although the City was to develop and maintain a five-year financial forecast for each operating fund in conjunction with the annual budget process, this was not occurring.  In response to a question from Bray, Krueger said, “I have not seen a five-year financial plan and those would be records that precede the adoption of this resolution for financial policies and I have not seen a document since that time as well that could be called a five-year plan.”

Bray’s questions also dealt with a failure to schedule replacement of capital assets.  Bray, during the questioning of Krueger, asked, “This policy seeks to schedule the replacement of capital assets, cars, trucks, fire engines, big equipment, even larger capital things and we don’t really have something like that other than the list that was developed recently?”
Krueger responded that he hadn’t reviewed the recently developed list in sufficient detail yet to know how many of the listed items were capital projects.

Earlier in the meeting, Bray indicated that Krueger had only recently become aware of the financial policy.  He stated, “…you discovered a document that was approved in 2017 that is a financial policy, …and I want to really reassure the community that you did not realize that was in place until just very recently.”

Krueger responded, “That’s correct.”

Bray explained his rationale for the line of questioning, at the same time stating that he did not believe Krueger was “accountable” for the oversight, but that the City Council had, “faltered.”  He said, “I’m just saying initially going into this process it behooves all of us to understand how we have faltered at many places in doing the things that were set aside for us to do and its hard for a financial officer to come in and to address all these things if we as a Council are not keeping them at the forefront.  So, that’s part of my purpose tonight, is to let the public be aware that you are not accountable for all of this because it really is something that’s just started to unravel before us in this last bit.”

Budget talks continue this week.  To view the August 5 meeting, which includes the exchange between Bray and Krueger, click on the image, below:


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.