Time for an Investigation
There has been quite a bit of talk about a recall petition for Mayor Stahr lately. While I understand why the mayor’s attention may not be on answering the questions the community has about what happened to the money during past fiscal years, I still believe those questions need answered. Even though Councilwoman Wolfe says we shouldn’t blame the previous administration for the budget fiasco that happened a few months ago, I still think there should be an investigation in to what happened. The citizens of York have a right to know how the city administration, both past and present, spent the money. They deserve to know what happened to the large amounts of savings the city had. Was it spent on capital projects or operating expenses? At what point did the operating expenses for the city increase above the revenue the city brought in?
To that extent, I am suggesting the mayor appoint an independent special committee to investigate. That committee should include: Councilman Mogul as the longest serving council member, who’s not on the finance committee; Councilman Wagner as a “fresh” set of eyes, having served less than two years; Councilwoman Hubbard and/or Councilman Pieper as someone in between; City Treasurer Pellie Thomas; and two individuals in the public willing to volunteer their time (hopefully with an accounting and/or finance background). That group of 6-7 people should work to determine on a broad scale what happened to the city’s money over the last 10 years, at least. It could be fairly basic, answering where did the money come from initially, and was it spent on capital projects, spent on operating expenses, or saved. The mayor, the city administrator, and the head of the finance committee should not be part of the investigation process in any way. I would also put a deadline of 3-6 months to come up with answers.
If that investigation could determine what happened, it could help prevent future budget issues for the city. If I was mayor, and a major budget issue came to light, one of my top priorities would have been to determine what happened through some form of an investigation. If you agree with me, that we need answers as to why this happened, I urge you to contact the mayor and the city council members directly. Ask them to open an investigation so this city can move forward.
Stephen R Postier