Audit Needed to Clear Air About City Government
The mayor and the seven members of the Grenada City Council are asking the wrong question and coming up with the wrong answer.
They are asking “Why should we call in the state auditor to check Grenada’s finances?”
The question they should be asking is: “Why not?”
The people of Grenada did not elect them to become some sort of eight-man fraternity to meet in secret, keep taxpayer business behind closed doors, and band together to stonewall against sunlight.
The taxpayers of Grenada elected them to be stewards of the people’s interests and the people’s money.
Public opinion of Grenada City government is at an all time low. People believe the city council spends money it does not have to build buildings we do not need while wasting thousands of dollars on unnecessary travel.
If the public’s conception of what is going on at city hall is wrong, a state audit and a clean bill of health will go a long way toward restoring public trust.
If there are problems, or suspicions of problems, the mayor and each of our city councilmen are obligated to the citizens of Grenada to call in the state auditor to start repairing our city’s financial health.
Last month the city’s highest ranking executive resigned and made serious statements about possible problems with city financial practices.
That is ample reason for the mayor and the council to go on the record immediately and seek help from the state auditor.
One elected official said he would check with the firm the city hires to do the city audit each year and see what they think.
The annual audit spoken of is merely a recheck of information given to the CPA by the city. It is not an “audit” as such. In fact, the first paragraph of the report says, “We have audited the accompanying financial statements ... these financial statements are the responsibility of the City’s management.”
In other words, the auditor’s responsibility is only to go over what the city provides. An examination by the state auditor’s office would go far deeper than that.
When is it time to ask the state auditor to examine the city’s books and give it a clean bill of health?
A better question is “When is it ever not time to ask for financial clarification and certification when one is charged with taking care of taxpayer money?”
What possible reason is there not to have the state auditor verify the city’s books?