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Westbrook to present audit at Tuesday’s council meeting

After months of waiting, the Richmond City Council will finally get what they’ve been asking for – a financial audit.
Westbrook & Co. P.C. will present the audit to the council tonight at their regularly scheduled meeting at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Over the last couple of months, newly elected council members have bickered with City Administrator Rick Childers about the city’s financial state. At the center of the argument is the amount of money the city is transferring from the Water and Wastewater funds to the general fund for administrative costs. Some councilmen have argued that too much is being taken. Childers informed the council that Westbrook would recommend an increase into the amount of money being transferred to the general fund. Childers said auditors note that the city is not accounting for the cost of moving into the new City Hall complex last year.
Councilwoman Terrie Stanley raised concern that the city has been transferring money out of funds into other funds illegally – particularly the use of the half-cent transportation sales tax which Childers admits has been used for the general fund expenditures. Councilman Jim Dunwoodie said the city’s municipal complex fund deficit keeps changing each month in an up and down fashion each month. Other councilmen had concerns about all of the city’s monies being deposited into one fund.
“It looks like we’re putting it all in the kitty and spending it wherever it needs to be spent,” Stanley said. “This kitty general fund thing – it’s crazy.”
Stanley and others added that the city’s budget process is confusing as well. She also pointed out that recently in Lawson, the finger was pointed at their city council when misappropriations were happening.

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