Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Audit Committee

I voted against a move to take the City’s audit functions away from the Board of Estimate and Taxation and move them to a newly-created (and redundant and unnecessary) “Audit Committee” made up of three Council Members and three citizen appointees, one from the Council, one from the Mayor and one from the Park Board.

This was, in my opinion, an ill-advised action for the Council to take, for three main reasons.

First, I believe that it is preferable to have our auditors report to a more independent body, like the Board of Estimate, rather than to what will be, in effect, a completely Council-controlled body (the Council will, in effect, control four of six seats on this body).

Second, the voters just rejected, less than two months ago, a proposal to scrap the Board of Estimate. One of the main arguments used by the pro-BOE side was that it houses the City’s external audit function. The (large) Council majority appears to have chosen to disregard the will of the voters in this regard.

Third, the Council rejected a common-sense amendment I offered that would have made this bad proposal a little less bad, by adding a seat for an elected member of the BOE to this new, unnecessary audit committee. This would have given the group 7 members and prevented the potential deadlock a 6 member committee can get in and also done a slightly better job of balancing the domination of the the Council.

I am disappointed in our (12 to 1) decision to ignore the will of the voters and further centralize power in the hands of the Council.


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