Financial accountability is critical for turnaround | Letters | June 12
June 12, 2009 · 9:52 AM
For the second year in a row, the City of Bainbridge Island has missed the deadline for filing its financial statements with the State of Washington, even though state law gives the city 150 days to close the books on the old year.
There are a number of similarities here with the turnaround of a failing business.
In a typical turnaround, the business has been failing financially, and the books are in disarray.
Here on the island, we have a government that is constantly borrowing from the few remaining pockets of cash, and that produces management accounting reports that are almost meaningless.
To know where we stand, we need an outside audit of our books by an independent accounting firm, and not just the partial review that the state will carry out later this year.
In a typical business turnaround, many of the good people have left and those that remain cling to power.
Here we have a former mayor who is still trying to hold on and a city administrator who has told the council that they should be talking to his attorney.
This November, we, as an electorate, will need to put good people on the newly empowered council. It will take a new council, and new people, to carry out the reforms that we voted for.
The problems downtown are longstanding, and it will probably take several years to fix them.
That’s no reason not to set higher expectations, and to ask that the administration comply with things like reporting deadlines.
Please, no more “the dog ate my homework” excuses.