Councillor Rotondo Requests Information about City Correspondences with State

Councillor-at-Large  George Rotondo wants a copy of the letter that Mayor Brian Arrigo sent to State Auditor Suzanne Bump relating to the City Council’s request of a “cost estimate” for an audit of city finances by Bump’s office.

The Council voted by a 10-1 margin at an August meeting to ask Bump what it would cost the city to conduct a top-to-bottom review for the years 2014-2018 of every city department, excluding the School Department.

Bump stated in an Oct. 28 letter to Arrigo that “the audits already performed seemed to do an excellent job of evaluating current operational conditions and making recommendations aimed at improving controls over City operations.

Bump also questioned the scope of the Council’s request, calling it “too broad…for us to estimate its costs.” She also added that even if a cost estimate be provided, “it is unlikely that [her] office would be able to accommodate a request to undertake any desired audit work [themselves].”

But Rotondo wants to see a copy of the mayor’s letter and intends to make that motion at the next Council meeting on Nov. 26. In his motion, Rotondo will also request that Arrigo appear at the Dec. 3 Council meeting to discuss all correspondences between the city and the state auditor on the Council’s request for a cost estimate.

“I’d like to find out the contents of the letter he [Arrigo] sent to the auditor, because the way he makes it read in the newspaper is he’s just basically getting a pat on the back,” said Rotondo. “I want to see what letter he sent and what the auditor’s response was. And more importantly, I want to know why he never came back to the Council to ask for guidance. That was the practice under the previous mayor.”

Rotondo added that he’d like to see audits done on “CDM Smith and the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund, outside expenditures by the city for legal costs, the use of Community Block Grant funds, and the oversight and use of funds provided to non-profit organizations and other groups in the city.”

“These are issues that the taxpayers want to know about,” concluded Rotondo.

Rotondo intends to make a motion at the next Council meeting on Nov. 26.

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