Ward 5’s Hagan calls for audit of city books

By Traci Chapman
Published on June 19, 2008

Ward 5 Councilwoman Linda Hagan called for a city-wide audit Tuesday, saying residents want to know “where all of the money is going.”

The request — “for discussion, consideration and possible action regarding a request that I’m making that the Council have a full and complete audit of all city accounts done, including monthly cash flow projection of revenues and expenditures including carry-forward” — was made, Hagan said, because residents have approached and called her, questioning what “is happening” to sales tax money.

“We came forward with a budget where we said we don’t have money for this, or we don’t have money for that, and they want to know why,” she said. “I feel this would be a good time to do just that.”

Hagan also rejected a proposal by staff to add an additional step to the city’s civilian pay range. The step was suggested, said Laura Anderson, human resources director, because three long-term employees would “max-out” on the city’s pay scale, making them ineligible for any more pay raises. City Manager David Cockrell brought the item up briefly in budget sessions last month, saying at that time staff would bring a concrete proposal to the Council “sometime in the near future.”

Hagan said she was not in favor of the measure and referred Council to her call for a complete audit. She also questioned why the matter was not addressed in city budget sessions; Cockrell and Ward 4 Councilman Keith Bryan reiterated the item was discussed at that time.

Anderson said the increase — which Cockrell said would only cost the city about “$1,500 to $2,000, at the most” — would help the city be more competitive and would reward “well-seasoned and highly valued employees.” The measure passed 5-2, with Hagan and Mayor Jeff Landrith voting against it.

In other business, Ward 1 Councilman Jay Adams gained Council approval for funds to ease flooding problems for the Carol Acres subdivision. The area — which is situated just west of County Line Road — has been subject to “serious flooding problems” for several years, Adams said, due to ineffective tin horns and drainage ditches clogged with debris.

Mike Rutledge, senior building official, said the city could ease residents’ problems, which he called “serious,” through a joint project with District 2 Commissioner Don Young, at a “minimal” cost to Mustang.

“Through the years a lot of dirt and debris has built up in those drainage areas,” he said. “This will be a fairly simple project to complete — we just need to remove trees and debris, replace the tin horns and widen the drainage ditches.”

Cockrell said no fixed price has been set for the project, but it would be covered in the city’s drainage budget. City officials would work with Young, he said, to complete the clean up, which should be started in August.

“This is a project that really needs to be completed,” Adams said. “These people really need some relief.”

Council also appointed Janette Kopp to the Mustang Public Library Board of Trustees.
Kopp, who said she has lived in Mustang 31 years, was suggested to members by Ward 2 Councilwoman Kathleen Moon. Moon serves as recording secretary for the Friends of the Mustang Public Library.

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