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Transparency a priority at City Hall

December 28, 2011
The Inter-Mountain

Earlier this month, Elkins Mayor Duke Talbott said he expected results from the city's audit to arrive at mid-month. Obviously, that time has come and passed, and it may be unlikely that it will be presented by the end of the year.

As anticipation builds around City Hall, one thing remains constant - Talbott's determination for transparency.

In May, the state auditor's office rescinded the contract between the city and auditing firm Tetrick & Bartlett, PLCC. Those duties were then handed over to the state auditor's Chief Inspector Division. The reasoning behind the change, according to Talbott, is that some of the financial practices previously in place simply did not make sense.

When the auditor's office began its work at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, Talbott stressed that the state's staff will not control the finances, but instead "will be auditing on standards they identify."

What exactly will be detailed in the report is yet unknown. However, Talbott said he expects "a number of adverse audit findings" to be identified.

Unless auditors request otherwise, Talbott says he wants all of the information presented in open session.

"If we're doing something wrong, we want to fix it and move on," Talbott told The Inter-Mountain recently.

We commend the mayor for his plan to keep the audit findings out in the open, and we hope council agrees. After all, the city's finances are very much the business of the residents who pay taxes.



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