Results of state audit should be interesting
"Call the Tune" by Mike Anthony
We certainly will be curious until the State Auditor's Office releases its audit of the city of Crestwood.
Until the audit is released, city officials are unable to discuss any "findings'' of the state auditor, Crestwood Director of Finance Diana Madrid told the Board of Aldermen last week.
She also reported that the total cost to the city of Crestwood for the state audit could be as much as $42,636.
Though the state audit has yet to be released, we doubt that Crestwood citizens will be getting their money's worth. Out-of-pocket costs the city will have to pay the State Auditor's Office once the audit is completed are estimated at $20,000 to $24,000.
In addition, additional costs absorbed by the city to date total $18,636.04. That amount includes $14,024.59 in "lost time'' by city staff, $2,705 in legal fees, $1,470 in fees to the city's independent auditor, Brown Smith Wallace, and $436.45 in materials and copying expenses.
Coming on the heels of a well-documented forensic audit of fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2002, a state petition audit seems like a waste of money. But as we've said before, the non-residents who collected 67.85 percent of the signatures for the state audit won't pay a dime for it.
Crestwood residents can thank four members of the Boegeman family — who own the Creston Center — Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance Chairman Kelley Isherwood of Oakville and Carolyn Dobbs, who collectively gathered 766 of the 1,129 signatures on the petition.
Residents also can thank Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel, who collected the most signatures of any Crestwood resident — 68.
Long before he was elected to the board, Mr. Miguel was calling for a state audit and fiscal responsibility. At a time when the city's general fund is in serious trouble, the cost of a state audit only adds to the city's problems and is another example of Mr. Miguel's lack of fiscal common sense.
As we've said, we don't believe the state audit will contain any great revelations about Crestwood's finances.
From what Ms. Madrid was able to disclose to the Board of Aldermen last week, it would seem City Administrator Don Greer is the focus of the most inquiries by the state auditor.
Given that, we sincerely hope the state petition process isn't a political witch hunt. But we firmly believe that those who collected the majority of the signatures for the state audit did so for purely political reasons.