City’s books should be top priority

Published 12:01 am Friday, July 3, 2015

We don’t buy it.

The City of Natchez again missed its state-mandated deadline for presenting its audit.

Natchez City Clerk Donnie Holloway said, “We ran into a couple of problems.”

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Holloway said the trial balance, which is a report detailing the activity in each of the city’s accounting funds, was not produced. He blamed that on an employee who he said recently resigned.

The fact of the matter is the city clerk is ultimately responsible for keeping the city’s financial reporting in good order. Truth is, the city’s bookkeeping is anything but.

It’s frightening that we hear from city aldermen time and again that they have difficulty budgeting for future city expenditures because no one seems to know how much money the city has, or doesn’t have.

It has been several years since the city has met its audit deadline.

Our city leaders must get the city’s accounting of its finances corrected quickly. It’s appalling this situation has been allowed to continue as long as it has.

We know the city plans to hire a new clerk to take over when Holloway’s elected term ends next year. However, getting the city’s books in good order cannot wait that long. Someone in a leadership position within the city government — the mayor or board of aldermen — must step forward to demand our city’s finances are straightened out.

That’s a very big deal. It should concern all of us greatly. After all, it’s our money.