Huntington Beach

Downtown BID gets clean bill of health

THE HUNTINGTON BEACH City Council on Monday received a report clearing the Downtown Business Improvement District of any financial improprieties (HB BID image).

By Jim Tortolano

The city’s downtown business improvement district got a financial clean bill of health during a study session Monday of the Huntington Beach City Council. A subcommittee assigned to study the matter concluded that “based on the extensive and comprehensive review,” there was “no evidence of improper use of funds or hidden assets.”

Although the panel found no improprieties, it did make several suggestions for improved operation of the organization, which assesses property and business owners for money to promote and improve the city’s original central business district in the vicinity of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway.

On Feb. 21, the council –at the behest of Councilman Erik Peterson – asked the city’s finance commission to look into accusations that the district had hidden money. “There were some discrepancies in financials which have been made clear,” he said. “I want to find out what’s going on down there.”

But on Monday most of the discussion on the matter centered around the recommended actions, including:

  • update the BID’s bylaws to shorten terms of members of the board of directors, and perhaps include a BID director to serve as a permanent board member;
  • prepare consolidated financial statements for all bank accounts;
  • reduce the reserve policy from one year of operating expenses to six months or less.
  • require that all contracts are signed by the BID director and the board of director’s president to enhance checks and balances.

 

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