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City audit brings concerns

February 15, 2013

Work has already begun on an audit of the city of Dunkirk’s 2012 budget finances....

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225522

Feb-15-13 6:52 AM

Boy oh boy...anoother black eye for the city IMHO

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Captain

Feb-15-13 7:50 AM

Mark Woods is a well-liked guy, but this audit's critical findings reflect his performance as city treasurer, raises valid concerns as to why he deliberately chose to record city finances that are NOT accepted under general accounting principals, and questions his knowledge about such standards.

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Benny1

Feb-15-13 8:09 AM

this is another example of this administration wasting time - lets spend weeks debating on wheter to pay fund 1 back with money from fund 2 etc this is like you and i personally debating "well you know my checking account owes money to my saving account"

How about we focus on the real problem too much money going out not enough coming in and since i hope we all agree that we shouldn't increase the amount coming in we should focus on cash going out. this transfer is a ploy to move money back to general fund to avoid a tax increase because they think a water and sewer rate increase is expected and easier to swallow. Guess what we all still pay it regardless if its a tax or a fee.

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rumblefish

Feb-15-13 8:20 AM

so in a nut shell,we have poor book keeping and recording of city funds,is it any wonder it costs 22 million to run a city that has shrinking revenue. one wonders,how many years has the "ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL" approach been in place...

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PhilJulian

Feb-15-13 9:14 AM

City finances have been mis-managed for many years. That's why we have outrageous taxes - that's why people are leaving and that's why businesses are closing. Bold action is needed and it's needed now! At the very least there needs to be a freeze on all hiring and a freeze on all wages. There can be no excuse for a community of only 12,000 residents to have a $22 million budget. Either we fix the problem or we continue on a path of self destruction.

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hadenough

Feb-15-13 9:55 AM

Who is performing the audit? It seems that is these discrepancies have been going on for years as reported then who ever has been doing the city audits for the past several years has not been doing a good job. Or they have been doing a good job reporting deficiencies to the previous mayor and it was the mayor who took the results and threw them away not reporting to council where the problems were. So who did this? This is just another nail in the coffin for the city. No one is going to come here knowing that the city finances are mismanaged. Would you? Time to get serious stop the whitewashing and let the truth be known. Only a person with high integrity will take these steps. Do we have anyone in office that will do this? We Shall see. I also also feel that a monthly overtime report should be made public by name so that the taxpayer can see where his/her tax money is going.

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rumblefish

Feb-15-13 10:19 AM

the idea of transparent goverment has been promised but not delivered,open reporting of overtime is a start,as for fiance discrepancy the responsibility falls on the one in charge,the head of city government after all finial approval rests there

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hadenough

Feb-15-13 11:14 AM

If Mark Woods one of the good old boys has been doing such a poor job why is he continually reelected? The city auditors are the individuals who are supposed to find these things and suggest how to correct them. If the auditors are just making sure the dollars add up no matter where they are used then perhaps it is time to look elsewhere for an audit firm. The downside to this is that this information will be made public and quite a few people will be residing in Mayville. So the BS goes on and the and the unauthorized spending and transfer of funds continues to go on. Is it that difficult to do the right thing? Evidently so, at least in Dunkirk.

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teacherteacher

Feb-15-13 11:27 AM

One thing these comments have pointed out is this is not a new issue. Its been happening here for years and years and it looks like its going to continue. One other thing, anyone else hear were the ex-mayor got a job and why?

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Captain

Feb-15-13 12:06 PM

rumblefish: I'm not trying to shift blame from the mayor to the city treasurer, as I'm sure every mayor during Woods' long employment w/the city knew how certain expenses were, or were not, being recorded.

Surely Woods knows what are, and what aren't, acceptable accounting practices involving public funds. Did he personally authorize these improper practices, or was he simply following orders? Either way, he's definitely guilty of allowing it to happen. And as hadenough pointed out, the CPA firm(s) hired by the city to do its annual audits, as an oversight measure, failed big time! They should be forced to explain why! Maybe a criminal investigation is warranted.

Will the truth ever come out...probably not.

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rumblefish

Feb-15-13 12:19 PM

Captain,guilty of what,I sure he is not the final say,if bosses do wrong can you override them?

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Captain

Feb-15-13 2:12 PM

Yes, Woods is a subordinate, but he's still legally bound to not violate the public's trust, regardless of whether or not he was ordered to record CBDG funds using questionable accounting methods.

The audit report has caused NYS comptroller Tom DiNapoli to take notice. Everyone involved should be forced to explain why such funds were improperly recorded.

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hadenough

Feb-15-13 5:39 PM

If memory serves me correctly Woods is an elected official. He is voted in by the residents. He may work for the mayor but was elected by the people. The mayor could not fire Woods. Woods has a duty to the people a duty he obviously did not fulfill. This could be the beginning of the end of Woods as city treasurer. Was it worth it Mr. Woods?

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commentor

Feb-15-13 5:57 PM

.......and let's start a Regional Water District and put Dunkirk in charge. This is not a new issue. Let's see how they are addressed when the full audit comes out. Circling the drain and going down!!!!!

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Captain

Feb-15-13 6:19 PM

you're right, the city treasurer is an elected post, therefore, the mayor simply can't fire him. Even if the current or past mayor(s) asked Woods to improperly record CDBG funds for specific reasons, the blame falls squarely on him. Not sure if anything illegal was done, but his reputation as the head of city finances is definitely tarnished.

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rumblefish

Feb-15-13 7:46 PM

the only tarnishing here is by the clowns who believe that Mr, Woods is crooked,if that was true an audit would have showed this long ago,and charges would have been filed the skunk in the wood pile is else where.who knows maybe it resides on Taft Place

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localresident

Feb-15-13 11:59 PM

WHAT? NO! The*****you say!!!!!

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Retired101

Feb-16-13 12:33 AM

Looks like everyone here has the answers and is pointing the finger at Mr. Woods. If I remember correctly Mr. Woods has nothing to do with CDBG funds...others were hired to be in charge of those funds. It's just like home folks, if your short in your checking you take it from your savings. It doesn't affect the end result.

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Captain

Feb-16-13 5:01 AM

"Not sure if anything illegal was done..."

It's not just like home. Munis are held to different standards to ensure that the use of public funds can be easily traced and spent appropriately. Certain funds are limited to what they can be used for.

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rumblefish

Feb-16-13 7:53 AM

for the record,retired101 not everyone we still think the trail begins and ends at Taft Place......

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