[Watchdogs] Business as usual at PEC (stonewalling a simple H.R request)
richardviktorin at sbcglobal.net
Thu Apr 9 16:34:58 CDT 2009
Yesterday, in response to the Statesman piece about the 2008 audit and
the accounting revisions regarding contributed capital, I left a citizen
comment below the article on the Statesman web page. In my comment, I
questioned Mike Vollmer's role in the questionable accounting practices.
The standard audit report states the following, "These financial
statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our
responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements
based on our audit." Mike Vollmer is the Chief Financial Officer at
PEC. Correct financial reporting is his chief responsibility.
In making these comments about Mr. Vollmer, I wanted to be fair if his
tenure at PEC had been short so I thought it best to call PEC Human
Resources to ask how long Mr. Vollmer had been CFO... Simple employment
verification at human resource departments are as common as can be, for
instance in response to credit applications. Certainly when you are not
inquiring about salary, simple requests to confirm employment and years
of service are customarily handled over the phone. Not at PEC.
Not only did PEC's HR department refuse to provide the information, but
today, a PEC employee, Melissa Westmoreland, left a snooty and officious
message on my recorder directing me to the open records policy on the
PEC web site. Thus, to get this basic information about the length of
Mr. Vollmer's employment, I must go fetch it via an official open
records request, and of course, wait. All I was attempting to do was be
fair to Mr. Vollmer in my comments. You would just have to hear the
message, the challenge and contempt in Ms. Westmoreland's voice, to
understand why I am posting this to the list.
Some. Things. Never. Change. This is why membership should support
the Rose/Fraiser legislation.
Audits in the Public Interest
From: watchdogs-bounces at pec4u.org [mailto:watchdogs-bounces at pec4u.org]
On Behalf Of Naomi
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 2:20 PM
To: watchdogs at pec4u.org
Subject: [Watchdogs] All the hubbub about open records and meetings
It just amazes me that so many folks are concerned about setting limits
on member access to PEC records. They make it sound like a huge burden
and seem to think that requiring PEC to follow the Open Meetings Act
will leave them open wide open to competitors stealing secrets or huge
Every City and County government in Texas, plus countless other
governmental entities follow the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Open
Records Act. It's not that cumbersome or difficult to make your records
available unless a) you have something to hide or b) you have no systems
in place. And if you have no systems in place, once you set your systems
up, it's fairly easy. And the OMA offers Executive Sessions for certain
confidential matters, so the whole "someone will learn my secret"
argument is goofy.
If cities like Dallas, Ft. Worth, El Paso, San Antonio, etc.can function
under the Open Meetings Act, it stands to reason that PEC (which is
teeny-tiny compared to the largest cities in TX) needs to just get over
it and get with the picture.
And I have to disagree with Linda. Every by-law can be changed, no
matter what the by-law says. And of course coops don't support the OMA -
the items in the bill aren't to benefit them, they are to benefit the
members. And just because the Board supports the (PEC) party line,
doesn't mean you have to support them. That's why this whole PEC4U thing
started - because folks DIDN'T support the Board's decisions. And I
would be extremely hesitant to support any candidate for Director or any
employee who thinks that limiting information to the members is in the
best interest of PEC.
Really? You want to tell me, a member owner that I can't get a copy of
what you are doing or attend your meetings because I might be too dumb
to understand it or you might tell me too much? Give me a break and let
I liken it to this: If you've operated in the dark your whole life, it
hurts your eyes to turn the lights on. But once your eyes get used to
the light, you can see. We've been blind too long about PEC - let's
shine the light on them and other coops and see what's out there.
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