Of all the matters we find outrageous regarding the unaccounted millions of dollars of tax money in the effort to rehabilitate the old YMCA on Third Street, what is most disappointing is that we, the people, should have known it would go as it has gone.
That is because the financial story of local city government is often not told completely and correctly, according to state auditors.
Marion has a history of poor record-keeping, according to its annual audits by the state. The Indiana State Board of Accounts cited inconsistent bank account reconciliations in the city’s 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 audits. The latest audit, for 2012, was released in September. The one for 2013 is about to start.
As reporter Karla Bowsher previously reported, state auditors noted entire departments were missing from the city’s 2011 and 2012 annual statements — both of which also underestimated the city’s outstanding leases and debts by at least $9 million. Financial records for another bond anticipation note, taken out in 2010 for up to $3.5 million, also showed omissions. The 2010 BAN was refinanced in December like the $2.5 million YMCA bond.
“Some deposits and checks that were posted to the demand deposit account were omitted from the city financial records,” the 2010 audit states. “Drawdowns from a $3.5 million line of credit and disbursements for land purchases, professional fees and site development expenses were not recorded.”
So how many times does it have to happen before something is done to make the administration accountable for the money we trust it with?
It is a question to be answered, perhaps this year.