Thursday, October 19, 2017

Choosing Financial/Investment Advisors with NO TRANSPARENCY

Hi All,
Monday, Oct. 23, 2017   Board of Trustees Meeting @ 7 pm

Once again, Bloomfield Township  Supervisor Savoie and his "gang"  apparently feel that the less they tell the taxpayers, the easier it is for them to "rule".   My opinion.

There is absolutely NOTHING to read in the 275 page Board Packet for the agenda item recommending new financial/investment  advisors.   Agenda #8 on Monday Oct. 23, 2017

There is basically NOTHING in the minutes from that FSC committee for the public and the Trustees (that are not on that committee) to conclude who might be best to hire for the township funds.

 Financial Sustainability Committee Meeting Minutes September 06, 2017
 Financial Sustainability Committee Meeting Minutes August 17, 2017
 Financial Sustainability Committee Meeting Minutes August 14, 2017
 Financial Sustainability Committee Meeting Minutes July 24, 2017
 Financial Sustainability Committee Meeting Minutes May 08, 2017
 Financial Sustainability Committee Meeting Minutes April 10, 2017
 Financial Sustainability Committee Meeting Minutes March 08, 2017

The last meeting that was held on Thurs. Oct. 12... while using paper secret ballot voting, the committee chose the 2 finalists for the DC and other funds  and the 2 finalists for the DB  and other funds.  Those finalists were to be notified and asked to submit their best and final offers before or by this Monday.
WELL,   the FSC committee has not met since that 10-12-17 meeting nor has one been scheduled before this Monday B of T meeting 10-23-17.    Because they have not met again.... there are no minutes for Oct. 12, 2017.  The FSC has not reviewed, in a public meeting,  the "best and final" offers.   I wonder what the FSC chairman  is going to say to the Trustees?  Here are two finalists for DC and DB.  Pick who you want? 

Since this is not a Public Hearing, the public may not speak when the agenda item is presented.   The only public opportunity to speak is during Agenda #1.  How can anyone make a 3 min. comment before agenda #8 when there is absolutely NOTHING in the packet to read/review/reflect/ on the FSC process and selections?

I have attended all the FSC meetings and I have FOIA-ed the audio tapes of the meetings.  I honestly believe  (my opinion)  that a lot of that committee work and discussion was done behind closed doors and via one on one phone conversations.  The 7:30 am meetings did not encourage "public" attendance. 

Three people voting Monday night 10-23-17 are Supervisor Savoie,  Treasurer Kepes and Trustee Barnett  and all three are members of the FSC.  Clerk Jan Roncelli ( another voter Monday night) participated in a mock investment session with some of the companies under consideration and some specifically chosen employees .  This was requested by the FSC to learn which company the employees might want to work with.  This "get-together" was not posted as a meeting.     Based on the above, I see four votes to approve whatever they want.   I honestly don't think they care if you, the taxpayer, or the other three TRUSTEES (Buckley, Walsh, Schostak) have any facts or information concerning this process and selection.  The "gang"  certainly avoided posting anything in the BOARD PACKET.   In my opinion, this is just another township  pre-determined outcome that Supervisor Savoie and his "gang" have decided.  

Previous BLOGS on this topic by me:

INCLUDED IN THIS 275 page  BOARD PACKET..for the Board of Trustees meeting of 10/23/17   ....

but not to be discussed as agenda items and verbally shared with the Trustees or the public: 
  •  Annual AUDIT by UHY
  •  QUARTERLY STATEMENTS  for Bl. Twp.  financial and investment funds/accounts

:   I never saw or heard the FSC review or discuss any of the audit or quarterly reports/ information at their meetings,  although it was available to the township for this discussion to occur.

FYI:   The township took the June 2017 RFP off the website.   Do you know what the RFP was asking the companies to bid ON???  What accounts or funds are are on RFP?   The other 3 Trustees (Buckley, Walsh, Schostak)  may not know either.  The RFP was not presented to the public or to the trustees before or after the posting.   In fact, the exact language of the RFP was not finalized and approved at a FSC meeting either.  Someone wrote it and posted it.

I will say it again and again.... there needs to be TRANSPARENCY  and a forensic audit of the township.    My opinion.


I know the how the voting went on Oct. 12, 2017  FSC meeting.  Here are some notes, observations and comments I jotted down.  The committee wanted to keep the voting quiet.  I hope the companies read this blog.   The minutes of this meeting won't be posted until the FSC meets again and approves them.  That could be days/weeks/ months/years?
  • There were 3 of the 5 companies in the final running for the DC funds and what other funds is not clear.  The top two that were asked for best and final were:  Schwartz and RPA .  Graystone Consulting was 3rd and out of the running.
  • There were 4 of the 5 companies in the final running for the DB funds and what other funds is not clear.  The top two that were asked for best and final were:  &Co  and RPA in that order with Graystone Consulting in 3rd and Gregory Schwartz in 4th place.
More from me:
  • Both Savoie and Barnett left the room immediately after the voting for the DC funds.  Upon arriving back to the meeting a minute or so later,  they announced that they only voted for two and therefore perhaps the voting needs to be redone.  It was determined that the vote was correct and tabulated correctly.  Did Savoie and Barnett hope for a different outcome? Or was leaving the room and coming back with the same issue just a coincidence?   Just wondering.    Before the vote, the FSC members intentionally did not discuss the FEES as Brian Kepes said the "spread" between the companies was not significant.
  •  Before the voting,  Brian Kepes told the FSC members that he had a long conversation with &CO the day before.  Kepes said he did not contact the other companies and share the same information as they had the opportunity to call him and ask questions, too.  Kepes did not say WHAT was discussed but that he was impressed with &CO.    While &CO appeared to be out of the running at an earlier meeting,  this comment by Kepes gained &CO the top vote for the DB funds with RPA a clear second.   Fees were mentioned before the vote,  reluctantly, but is the fee fixed or level or sliding scale?  I don't know.  Did the FSC members know for sure?   The entire short discussion of fees was not least to me.    $67,500 ;  $85,000 ;  $105,000  ;  $79,750       Votes and prices in order:  &CO; RPA; Graystone; Schwartz
  • Brian Kepes mentioned that he would ask UHY... our township auditors... to review the candidates and proposals.   Why wasn't that review and discussion part of any FSC  public meeting?
  • The RFP  allowed for all companies to bid the Township financial and investment funds listed in the RFP.    With RPA in the final two for both the DC and DB  accounts,  did the township ask them for a combined all in price?  I doubt it.
  • I FOIA-ed the audio tapes of all the FSC meetings (even though I attended all meetings).  In my opinion,  the 5 companies did not get a in-depth review and discussion and comparison of their proposal vs the others at the PUBLIC meetings.  I'm sure they spent a lot of time and effort preparing the documents.  Too bad the township didn't give the same effort.  My opinion.

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