Figures Don't Lie But Liars Figure

In case you missed the “live” feed from last night’s audit report, here’s a recap of what happened. We were informed that the current city clerk, Merlene Wall, does not know the difference between credit, debit and she does not know how to use BBI. Charlene Kerkow of Wright, Ward, Hatten and Guel didn’t hold back any details when she outlined the sheer incompetence of Merlene Wall’s inability to perform the necessary duties of a municipal city clerk. Charlene said we were a ship headed for a mine field with no one in charge. I must say that I concur. For years, I have talked of Merlene’s incompetence and I was overjoyed to have a CPA reiterate everything I said over the years; Merlene is incapable of doing this job. She’s inept, incompetent, unintelligent idiot that lacks integrity because if she had an ounce of integrity she would admit that the job is too much for her and resign. Instead, she’s going to roll the dice and hope the elected officials will gamble with their political career and keep her on to continue to do nothing.

When Merlene was hired, she claimed she performed the bookkeeping for an entire parish in Louisiana. I guess she meant a small church parish and not an actual parish because I looked at the budgets for Jefferson Parish and it’s $464,000,000. How can someone handle the books for a budget in the hundreds of millions and can’t handle a $1.1 million dollar budget? Obviously, she lied then like she has continued to do for the past few years. Merlene is claiming that she’s not a CPA but none of the other city clerks that served in Lumberton (JoAnn Ladner, Leonette Wynn, Stephanie Mullings) were CPA’s either so that’s not an excuse. Charlene Kerkow said during the meeting that “there’s no need to hire a CPA to perform the duties of the city clerk; the position requires a person that can tell the difference between debits and credits and know how to use a computer.” Well, Merlene fails in all those aspects. All she know about computers is following my blog and using the City of Lumberton’s equipment to print out copies to hand out to the alderperson.

So I guess her next step is to blame Stephanie Mullings for the fact that she did not have general ledgers for 2014-2016. Maybe it’s Stephanie’s fault that Merlene deposited a $23,000 check and did not know where it came from??? Maybe they can blame Stephanie for the fact that the accounts are so badly monitored that an audit has not been performed since Merlene Wall was hired to work as city clerk??? I’m sure she’s going to say Charlene Kerkow lied (despite not saying a word when Charlene was there to defend herself and her audit report.) I’m sure she’s going to point fingers at everyone else but herself. Knowing Merlene, she probably will lie and say she didn’t have any training, like she did on page 17 of the independent auditor’s report prepared by Wright, Ward, Hatten and Guel but I’ll discuss the details of that report in a later blog post.

Keep in mind that Merlene Wall has been serving as City Clerk of Lumberton since February, 2013. How can she continue to blame others for her incompetence? As a matter of fact, at her first official meeting as city clerk on March 5, 2013, Merlene Wall failed to print copies of the agenda for those attending the meeting. The signs were on the wall but we failed to adhere to them. The only people that are faultless in regards to keeping this idiot on the City of Lumberton’s payroll are Johnny Buckley (the newest alderman) and Qunicy Rogers. Quincy Rogers voted against every claims docket prepared by Merlene Wall and based on the report provided by Charlene, he was the only one that voted correctly. It seems that the board has been voting to pay bills and expenditures despite the fact that “no actual budget” has been prepared by this city clerk. What has Merlene been doing for the past four years? She ‘s been trained over and over again but cannot do the job. As a matter of fact, she’s scheduled to graduate in June and has boasted about making 100’s at every workshop she’s attended but she can’t apply what was taught. Apparently they award you with a 99 just for showing up for training because she’s a total idiot when it comes to budget, calculating water bills and operating BBI.

Amazingly, after that horrible report, the board voted to allow Merlene Wall to write a check for $3,000. I was like seriously?? After that scathing report on the total incompetence of our city clerk I wouldn’t have voted to approve a $3.00 check written by Merlene Wall even if she put $2.99 and a deposit slip for a penny on the podium. I guess the fiscal disarray of this city does not matter to them. One thing is for certain, we have a little over a year left with this mayor and board in office. If the first agenda item at the May , 2016 meeting is not a vote to advertise for a new city clerk, it’s time to get rid of this board and get some people in office that are willing to be good stewards of the City of Lumberton’s limited finances. It’s clear that Merlene is an incompetent idiot but the bigger idiots are the elected officials that will fight to keep her on the payroll.

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