Authority to address treasurer’s concerns

The governing board of the Honey Lake Valley Recreational Authority apparently listened to Nancy Cardenas, Lassen County’s treasurer/tax collector, at its Aug. 1 meeting as she expressed concern about the way the new pool handles its money.

Nancy Cardenas, Lassen County Treasurer/ Tax Collector

The authority’s meeting, held at 3 p.m. today, Tuesday, Aug. 15 in the Susanville City Council Chambers, focuses on the pool’s finances — specifically how the pool staff handles money collected from patrons.

The agenda includes, among other items, cash handling procedures, petty cash guidelines, bank services and credit card options. Other matters on the agenda include financial reports through Aug. 7, a reimbursement request from the city, adoption of a revised budget, a shoulder season update and proposed schedule, landscaping options, concession options, a wayfinding update, an additional training option and a diving board funding proposal.

Cardenas had asked the authority to discuss some items such as credit card handling policy at the Aug. 15 meeting — especially holding customers’ credit card numbers on file for future purchases. She believes that may violate credit card rules. She said she would check with the bank and credit card companies, but she believes the customers’ private information may be vulnerable if it’s not secured properly.

“I have a huge problem with that,” Cardenas said.

She also said the city deposited $24,000 of credit card revenue from the pool into the city’s credit card account. Apparently, those funds were later transferred to the authority’s Lassen County trust account.

“That continues to be an on-going issue,” Cardenas said, “where the city is collecting and depositing into the city’s account credit card revenue earned by the Joint Powers Authority.”

Cardenas also expressed her concern that the pool’s financial polices and procedures had not be finalized prior to the pool’s opening.

“I was really disappointed we didn’t start talking banking until three weeks before the pool opened,” Cardenas said. “All of these policies should have been before the board before any of this money was taken.” Cardenas also said she was disappointed to discover the pool was accepting credit cards — a revelation she obtained from a friend who visited the pool and the receipts say city of Susanville on them.

“I have to tell you all of those things happening makes me very upset and not confident that we’re working together as a team,” Cardenas said. “And when Jared (Hancock, city administrator) says he’s working with county staff, I’m the treasurer/tax collector for Lassen County, which includes the city of Susanville, so I am not staff.

I am an elected official, and I do represent all of Lassen County, and keeping the people’s money safe is very, very important to me.”

Eric Heumann, Honey Lake Valley
Community Pool Manager

Eric Heumann, the pool manager, said he echoed Cardenas’ concern about protecting the people’s money, and he said he personally fixed the receipt issue.

“You fixed what the receipt said,” Cardenas said. “You did not fix where the money was being deposited nor was the treasurer for the JPA noticed that the city was going to be depositing the money into the city’s checking account.”