To The Herald-Whig:
As comptroller for the city of Quincy, my job is to administer and report all financial transactions of the city. I am responsible for budgeting, accounting, payables, payroll and debt management. I regularly make available financial records and reports to the administration, aldermen and public.
In the campaign for mayor, Kyle Moore has suggested three ideas concerning city finances and operations: (1) a "scorecard" to measure performance, (2) "transparency" of city government and (3) long-range planning. As an alderman, Mr. Moore should know that all three of these currently exist.
While it may not be called a "scorecard," city departments keep detailed statistics on their performance and this information is provided to the administration, aldermen and to aldermanic committees. For financial offices, performance is evaluated and presented in the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. This is all public information.
Further, the idea of "transparency" is not new. The proposed annual budget has always been available for inspection 21 days prior to passage as is required by City Code. In-depth budget hearings are held by the City Council and these hearings are posted and open to the public. Likewise, the agenda for City Council meetings is published and all city departments are available to answer questions of the aldermen and the citizens of Quincy.
Additionally, the city has a Capital Improvement Plan to address long-range capital needs and any uncommitted revenues are not just "spent." Under the Spring administration, the Reserve Fund, Vehicle Replacement Fund, Fire Equipment Improvement Fund, Sanitation Connection/Expansion Fund and Wastewater Equipment Replacement Fund have been increased and maintained. To say our city has no-long range plan is simply not true.
While Alderman Moore is to be commended for supporting accountability, transparency and long-range planning, none of these ideas is new. They have simply been relabeled.
Finally, I feel obligated to address the proposal by the Republican candidate for city treasurer to eliminate the position of comptroller. If presenting full and accurate data is important, eliminating the position responsible for the accuracy of city records makes no sense. The city receives approximately $70 million in revenue. It would be extremely unwise to combine responsibility for receiving, investing, accounting and reporting into any one person. The separation of duties that comes from having a city treasurer and a city comptroller provides optimal protection for the taxpayers of the city.
Ann M. Scott
and director of purchasing
City of Quincy