Clean state audit will help regain public's trust
March 09, 2005 - To the editor:
I applaud Roger Anderson and all those whose efforts led to the success of the state audit petition.
State law allows for such petitions and those who took advantage of the law were exercising their rights under state law. That their actions have drawn such ire from this newspaper and Crestwood's current administration is not at all surprising.
Those who oppose the audit argue that it created an unnecessary financial burden for the city and that residents should have been satisfied with the forensic audit performed by a firm which the city chose.
Having had experience with business audits myself, I found Mr. Anthony's re-cent article detailing the "added costs" of the audit dubious at best. An argument could easily be made that obtaining records, running reports, making copies and providing business procedures fall un-der the standard cost of doing business.
While these costs were unexpected, they were by no means unusual.
The administration can continue to treat this audit as an affront and complain about the costs or it can learn from this experience and be better prepared for future audits, as Missouri law allows.
Both Mayor Fagan and Mr. Anthony have expressed the opinion that the state audit will not reveal anything unusual, thus confirming that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Do they value our concerns so little that they consider earning our trust a worthless endeavor?
As the political leader of this city, one would think Mayor Fagan would understand that the city can ill afford to continue operating under a cloud of suspicion, and respect the fact that many people lost trust in the city after its financial mismanagement was made public and questionable financial decisions were made in its aftermath.
With respect to financial matters, this city desperately needs to earn the trust of its residents, and a clean state audit would have a huge impact on regaining that vital trust. One hopes that Mayor Fagan recognizes that with an objective audit, no matter what the result, the benefits far outweigh the costs.