Posted: Oct 3, 2012 5:10 PM by Mike Manzoni -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Oct 3, 2012 6:45 PM
GREGORY -- The mayor pro-tem said the city's financial bind created by missing money is worse than it should be because the previous administration did not heed any of the recommendations that were given to them by the city's auditor two years ago.
Mayor Pro-Tem Celestino Zambrano said when auditor Noel Snedeker gave the city a list of 20 recommendations after the 2010 annual audit, city administrators did not follow any of them which worsened the city's financial situation, especially after $144,000 in never-deposited checks and money orders went missing from city hall in May. ""His [Noel Snedeker] recommendation were not followed, and that got us into this."
Among the several findings in during the audit were that the "...city was not making daily bank deposits," and "...approximately 20% of the city's water meters do not work and the customers receive a minimum bill each month."
Zambrano said the city was not collecting as much money for water as it should have been during this time which put the city behind in it's water payments. "It's a combination of the water meters not working properly or not being read properly."
The missing money and audit issues, Zambrano said, have caused taxpayers to lose faith in their city government, something he said the city must fix. "People lose trust, so now we have to gain that trust; we have to be an open book."
The first step the new administration is making to increase transparency is to distribute monthly financial statements to allow taxpayers to know how their money is being spent. The other recommendations, Zambrano said, can still be used to get the city's finances in order even though they are two-years-old.
Former Mayor Victor Lara could not be reached for comment.
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