Coldspring Senior Center board held accountable per DETCOG - $20K

Closed session took place and the door closed as the 10 people huddled in Administrator Rayfield Jefferson's office at the Coldspring Community Center

The Coldspring Senior Center held its regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, April 19. Representatives from DETCOG – Deep East Texas Council of Government were on hand to present the findings of the recent On Site Monitoring Review. Holly Anderson, Director of the Area Agency on Aging of Deep East Texas was the presenter partnering with Bobbi Stott, Contract Manager for the Senior Citizens Center of San Jacinto County – also referred to as the Coldspring Senior Center.

The San Jacinto News-Times reported on the content of the written report from DETCOG in the April 14 edition in it's entirety.
Anderson quickly began to cover the responsibilities of the Board of Directors. Emphasizing that “the board” is responsible for the actions of employees of the center.

The Administrator of the center is Rayfield Jefferson. The center also has kitchen staff and an assistant to Jefferson. DETCOG according to Anderson is not going to come in and manage the employees of the center. The Corrective Action Plan in which Anderson was explaining addressed the first topic as Administration. Administration being defined as the responsibilities of the management of the day to day operations of the center which include administration, program services, access, accounting and reporting and health and safety.

DETCOG has been over billed in access of $20,000 in which the board is responsible for. Monthly billing to DETCOG for meals served is due the eighth day of the following month. The March billing to DETCOG which was due April 8, has not yet been received according both Anderson and Stott.

Addressing the Administrative Guidelines of the contractual agreement with DETCOG various deficiencies were revealed in the on site monitoring conducted by Bobbi Stott. Items such as Client Intake files were not current for billing purposes. Board of Directors identification were not submitted by Jefferson.

The program service needs deficiencies included inspections for the kitchen and fire inspection since 2014. Jefferson commented, “the fire inspection has been done”, with Anderson commenting that “ a copy has to be in our office within five days”. In the earlier publication of the DETCOG report on April 14, those guidelines were included at that time. Jefferson also commented he had, since the report dated March 31, “filed for a health inspection and sent in a request and fee for inspection.” Anderson again commented “those copies have to be in our office”. Monthly reports to DETCOG should include nutrition education preformed at the center and to the home delivered recipients.

Access Service shortcomings included Interest List of the home delivered meal clients and phone numbers in case of emergency. This is a way for administration to check on clients and to know which clients are waiting on services from the center.

Accounting and Reporting required a Corrective Action Plan as well; Separate bank accounts for the resale shop and operations of the center. The funds should not co-mingle reported Anderson. The board of directors did open a separate bank account back mid March. Within days after opening the account Jefferson called a special called meeting to be placed as a signer on the account. Due to the lack of understanding by some board members Jefferson was placed on the account as a signer. Anderson made it very clear that Jefferson could not sign on the Resale Shop account. If he does - it jeopardizes the eligibility of the center for funding making it count as federal funds.

Other accounting issues included proper use of debit card, petty cash, and checks cashed. Reporting of home delivered meals were not clear in which proper billing could be traced and as well as congregate meals. Again proper record keeping is a must.
Health and safety procedures were addressed on reporting for plan of action on food borne illness and employee training to be done monthly.

Immediate attention is required with deadlines as soon as the current month of April. First being the monthly billing due May 8. A plan of action and progress will be due to DETCOG on May 19, 2016. All monthly reports must include and will be verified in processing the following: Service Delivery Logs, Sign In Sheets, Congregate Meal Service Log, Copies of all documentation for screening employees and contractors, Certified Financial Statements – which can be developed by the provider, but must be in such detail that an outside accountant will attest to their accuracy. Failure to address these issues in a timely manner could lead to additional sanctions and/or penalties.

A meeting was called for Monday, April 25 with what appeared to be the possibility that Rayfield Jefferson was going to resign the position as Administrator. This being the third time in which a meeting was called with high probability of the action of his resignation. Upon the arrival of the San Jacinto News-Times and other media, the meeting became a “closed meeting”.
During the “closed meeting”, board member Gerald Deeter exited the session and left the center. Board members exited the meeting upon its conclusion without contact to either media source.