Chief Financial Officer Michel Sorrell led the discussion March 5, confirming that the city has received responses from three unnamed firmsregarding the audit, along with questions related to its scope. The forensic audit was approved by council in November, with Sorrell saying the cause for delay is due to the fact the city's mandated annual audit is currently in the works. Sorrell added the annual audit required by the city is also performed for financial disclosure due to bonds issued.
Interim City Manager Charles Daniels officially began working for the city at the beginning of January and said that while he cannot speak to the delay from November to the start of his tenure, it would not be within the city's "best practice" to perform two audits at the same time.
"We need to move beyond this 'ready, fire, aim' type of attitude and operate according to best practices," Daniels said.
Ahead of council discussion, resident and city council candidate Robin Sutton addressed council during public comment on the item and said that the delayed start of the audit is "shocking" and is a concern.
"It’s time to stand up, do the right thing," Sutton said. "Whatever risk it is for you personally, let’s get it straight, move the city forward, let us know where it’s at and let us know what we can do with our taxes next year.”
Sorrell said that she and the rest of her financial department are looking for increased transparency and will work directly with the selected firm to ensure the city can move forward with a clean slate. No action was taken by council March 5.