Hatzenbuhler proposes hiring financial consultant

The city needs to bring in additional expertise to help hire an independent auditor for the city’s financial records, according to Fourth Ward Alderwoman Diane Hatzenbuhler.

At Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, Hatzenbuhler introduced a resolution to hire financial consultant Darryl Puritan for an amount of $2500. According to Hatzenbuhler, Puritan has decades of experience in municipal finances and was recently involved with the dissolution of the Montgomery County health insurance trust fund.

The city controller’s office has made progress over the past two years in fixing the city’s financial records which have been in disarray since the 2011 transfer to a new accounting system. Currently, only the most recent NY State required Annual Update Document (AUD) for years 2013 and 2014 is overdue. The 2012 and 2013 AUD was accepted in March. However, according to the city’s charter, the common council is required to hire an independent auditor each year. An audit for years 2012 and 2013 has not been completed yet.

On Tuesday, Controller Matt Agresta said he had no problem with the council hiring an auditor.

In regards to the resolution, Agresta said to Hatzenbuhler, “This isn’t hiring an outside auditor, this is asking someone to tell you who to hire as an outside auditor, because you don’t think anyone within the building has the qualifications to do so.”

After the meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Ann Thane said that she thought that the common council, with input from the controller and corporation counsel, should be able to decide on the right auditor.

At the meeting, the resolution was tabled by a vote of 3-2.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.