The Freeman is reporting that Mayor Sottile has ordered the City Comptroller to conduct a complete audit of payroll records for all police officers who work as security guards at Kingston High School.
I have no problem with this. It is the proper reaction. However, I must ask why this was not done in the first place prior to any allegations being brought forth. The Mayor should require an audit of all departments each year to determine that everything is being handled appropriately. Why do we wait for allegations and scandal?
This is not the first time this has happened. We learned some time ago that the City of Kingston was being ordered to pay safety net costs in excess of the actual obligation. Why did the Mayor not order an audit or review of these bills and costs prior to paying them?
As a side note, we do not pay the safety net bills in a timely manner anyway. They are allowed to sit for a year and then the County assesses the city's property taxes accordingly the following year. This is why you will never see the safety net costs in a city budget. They are hidden in the tax assessments each year. That is another scandal ..uh .. story.
Whoever the next Mayor is, he should require frequent audits or reviews of city accounts, especially when they deal with other municipalities or government agencies. Our elected officials must be proper stewards of the people's money.