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So what's your opinion on the Benton Parks Commission's decision to suspend the parks director, Curtis McCormick, and his assistant, Kitty Smith?  Much ado about nothing?  Yes, they were sloppy about accounting and probably ran it like a lemonade stand, but no one else would touch that dead cat, so they did.  What do you think?  I think McCormick and Smith are being unduly humiliated, which is unfortunate.

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I didn't really understand the whole thing, but one thing stood out -- they're not having concessions at Tyndall at ALL now? All those softball games and no one can get a drink? Wow.
My view is that it's standard protocol to suspend employees with pay when you're investigating something that went on. They don't know yet who is responsible for what, so it doesn't make sense to suspend them *without* pay. Yet, if perhaps someone is guilty of wrongdoing, that's not a person you want in the office, because it presents the opportunity to orchestrate a coverup, or worse. These points in mind, suspension with pay protects boths sides.

In re-reading the Saline Courier story, I saw the following:


"Cash payments made to umpires and scorekeepers totaling $7,410 were also noted in the report and stated that "Federal law requires IRS form 1099 to be issued to each person who is paid $600 or more during the year. Per review of the concession stand cash spreadsheet, six people were paid over $600 and should have been issued 1099s, including Curtis McCormick, who assisted in operating the concession stand and was paid $1,040."


That's what would have tilted me towards suspending them with pay.  Initially, I thought it was just bad practices of reimbursing themselves from the cash box for things they had paid for.  But now that there apparently are federal law violations as well (and even alledgedly involving the parks director himself), it makes sense to put them on leave until things are sorted out.  I'm sure they meant no harm and there was no sinister motives, but there seems to be a lot that needs improving in processes there.

Receipts?? Where are they? I heard there was very very few receipts showing the expenses. If you take on something like that, you have to have excellent records.

I don't know any of the people involved, but I find on it's face the news coverage of this issue to be both inflammatory and misleading. I can't say I'm surprised as this type reporting sells newspapers. I point to the words used in the title "unaccounted for funds"


Buried deep in the coverage is the statement of the CPA firm "We were not engaged to, and did not, conduct an audit, ...". The simple truth is that this was a review of the accounting process which was found to be deficient. The work done was not designed to account for the funds.

News coverage implies that there are two areas of possible missing money; cash paid to umpires and expected revenues from concession sales.

Surely there are team records and other data sufficient to show how many games were played. Multiplying the number of games by the umpire payout  per game would show the expected cash payout. If the expected payout agrees to the actual cash expended then there is no missing money. Until such a study is done, it's nothing more than speculation that money is missing. We may not know who got the money and tax procedures may have been remiss, but that's a far cry from theft.

Concerning the concession stand revenue, I point to the following news coverage:

The final item in the report states, "revenue of $6,445 are estimated to be unaccounted for based upon the following: documented costs of concession stand merchandise from both the concession stand spreadsheet and the general ledger multiplied by an estimated mark-up of 100 percent results in total revenues of $15,830; mark-up was estimated at 100 percent based upon documented concession stand prices compared to costs from suppliers; documented receipts of $9,385 were subtracted from estimated total revenue of $15,830. this leaves $6,445 in unaccounted revenue."

What's wrong with that? To start with, it begins with the assumption that there is a 100% markup of all supply expenditures.  While there may well have been an intention to set prices to achieve a 100% profit, the actual profit is likely something else.

The report suggests that all supply expenses were used estimate expected revenue. Anyone with experience managing food sales would find that laughable, A legitimate study would based on each product line. For each sale item, a best indicator of supply quantity is selected as an indicator of sale volume. For example, there are many supply expenses for selling hot dogs. but the actual hot dogs purchased less what is in inventory is probably the best indication of the number of sales. When multiplied times the sale price one can determine the expected revenue from this product line. Some product lines may be more difficult to determine than others. For example drinks, where some ball parks may have a policy of providing free drinks to umpires, volunteers, and concession stand workers. Waste must also be factored into the estimate; you can't sell yesterday's popcorn.

The sum of expected revenue from all product lines is the true estimate of gross receipts to be expected. Even if they do not closely match actual revenue, one is still left with the question of whether money was stolen or whether the result is due to product theft. If a concession worker eats a candy bar without paying, that's product theft. And expected revenue is reduced not by the supply cost of the candy but by the sales price. If the true markup is 100%, product theft of $500 reduces expected revenue by $1000.


In short, there is nothing here to substantiate missing funds. The only truth is that proper accounting procedures have not been followed.

Regarding the sensationalism, I refer you to Brent Davis' Facebook post on the matter.

Shelli, I don't facebook. The link doesn't work for me; I get a "page not found".

Could you confirm that the post still exists and what it says on the issue?

 I do know the parties involved and this investigation is chasing...NOTIHNG.  It just isn't there.  Anyone who has run a concession stand understands this.  Yes, the accounting practices were not up to par for some, however keep in mind this is a SERVICE oriented program provided by the city.  I do think that a major problem with this is that the people initating the investigation have absolutely no clue how to run a ballpark concession stand, nor do they want to.  And if they would just ask people that do know how to do it, they would get their answers real quick and not have destroyed anyone's reputation in the process.


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