By Michael G. Stogner
Foster City Residents who took the time and money to provide True Citizen Oversight by Recalling Councilman Herb Perez who now is permanently labeled as RECALLED. They find themselves stepping up and doing it again with calling for City Manager Moneda to be labeled as FIRED from Foster City. A City Manager is appointed and the public knows very little about what he/she does or what authority they have. This case is pretty simple Mr. Moneda is Obstructing a very simple audit that involves the man who gave him his job.
April 13, 2020 5:00 PM
Foster City Council held a Closed Door Meeting last night about City Manager Moneda employment status. You will recall he turned in his resignation right after the Herb Perez Recall Election Results were certified by Mark Church San Mateo County Elections Officer.
4.1. Public Employee Appointment (Government Code §54957)
Title: City Manager
Public Comment e-mails.
Subject: Council Meeting – 4/6
I just finished watching the recording of the last city council meeting. Here are a few comments.
- There were no known issues with the city’s finances before FC-Watchdog discovered these sponsorship non-payments. We found these non-payments by accident while validating sponsorship claims by Mr. Perez. Since we stumbled upon this mistake, how are we confident that this is the only problem? Gold Medal was a sponsor for the Summer Concerts 2019, but I do not see this information mentioned anywhere. No invoice has been sent to them. What else are we missing? Why are we seeking direction from internal staff, the same people who have put us in this mess.
2. Mr. Moneda’s claims that sponsorship non-payments occurred only last year is not true. It has been happening since 2014. The following are unpaid dues by year. (ref: Document 1)
- 2014 – $1,000
- 2015 – $1,000
- 2017 – $9,500
- 2018 – $5,000
- 2019 – $4,000
3. Last year Mr. Moneda wrote a letter to Mr. Perez thanking him for his donation of $74,845.36. I was surprised when Mr. Moneda said he was not aware of the non-payment until September because the letter was written in June.
4. Mr. Moneda mentioned that residents conducted their own audits and came up with different figures without providing the rationale behind it. That is not true. I have sent numerous emails to the city attorney, mayor, vice mayor with details and supporting documents. On January 10th, Stacy Jiminez and I requested a meeting with director Jennifer Liu and Mr. Moneda, seeking clarifications on sponsorship solicitation, billing/invoicing, payment collection, and cash application. Mr. Moneda agreed, and the meeting was set up, but he canceled it the next day and never rescheduled. The email exchange is attached herewith.
- Subject: Sponsorship questions
There is a $17,000+ debt in sponsorship that has not been cleared up to date and the City Manager is now about to quit. How can we be able to have a fair audit if the person who can provide answers refuse to answer emails until he is gone? This behavior should not be allowed and the City Manager needs to be fired immediately. This needs to be on his record instead of being allowed to be dodgy on a matter that shows clear favoritism to a council member who has been recalled. His letter commending Gold Medal of their sponsorships but no email exists for other businesses alongside discrepancies in sponsorships by Gold Medal & Herb Perez all point a finger at shady practices. If it’s not shady, then an audit will show that.
An immediate audit is needed before Moneda leaves or ask him to step down effective immediately.
I request again for an independent audit on unpaid city sponsorship obligations to be conducted in a timely manner so the breakdowns in city officials’ oversight can be rooted out, fixed, and prevented in future cases.
- Date: April 13, 2020 at 5:59:22 PM PDT
Subject: Jeff Moneda
Dear City Council,
I’d like to voice my opinion that you release city manager, Jeff Moneda from your current role immediately. He has been dishonest numerous times during the last city council meeting and the lack of transparency regarding the money owed by Gold Medal has been frustrating. We would like the people working for the city to help our city and not to abuse the power. Sincerely,
- Date: April 13, 2020 at 5:29:26 PM PDT
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Dear City Council,
I would like to urge you all to release city manager Moneda from his responsibilities immediately.
There has been a complete lack of transparency regarding sponsorship money owed to the city by Gold Medal, and dishonesty surrounding the issue. He lied 3 times at the last city council meeting and refuses to meet with residents to clarify the issue as directed by council motion. This type of abuse of power should not be tolerated and a clear message should be sent.
This e-mail sets the stage for the April 13, 2020 Meeting.
Date: Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 5:42 PM
Subject: Agenda Item: 6.2 – Council Meeting 4/6/2020
“6.2. A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Foster City Authorizing the Issuance of a Requests for Proposals for an Operational Assessment of the Parks and Recreation Department”
Dear Council:On Jan. 13, 2020, Mayor Mahanpour wrote: “Through that review, it has become apparent that the billing and accounting practices in Parks and Recreation are deficient … In my opinion, the council should look into bringing in an independent third-party consultant to audit the processes, procedures and practices of the Parks and Recreation Department since their records have evidently not been kept in a best practices manner.”
Why has the independent audit been reduced to an operational assessment? Please do not cite cost as an impediment to an independent audit. Most residents are aware that Council is prepared to spend $35 to $40 Million on a new Rec Center. In my opinion, money spent on ensuring fiscal integrity is far more important.
With tonight’s official removal of Recalled Councilmember Herbert Perez, it is time to usher in a new phase in Foster City government – one that is characterized by Transparency.