September 15, 2020

 

 

CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY
OF 2019 BUDGETARY OVERSPEND

Elected officials must advocate for transparency so we can
build strong, well-run communities. 

 

I therefore submitted a memo to Borough Council President Michael Galey on May 28, 2020, asking for clarification as to how the Borough ended 2019 with a $1,510,833 variance in the $60,800 Highway Maintenance line item budget. My memo and Mr. Galey’s response are available to download below so the taxpayers of West Chester Borough can review these documents and submit further questions, comments, and requests to Borough Council. 

 

Borough Council has scheduled a discussion for today (Tuesday, September 15) during its 7pm Work Session to review process changes implemented in response to my inquiry and the subsequent internal evaluation. For meeting information, visit www.west-chester.com and scroll down to “Virtual Borough Council Meetings.”

 

Additionally, I am requesting an investigation by law enforcement into this issue, given recent circumstances that have come to light. While there is no known evidence of criminal misconduct, I believe this is necessary to ensure transparency and build public trust.

 

Lastly, I am proposing the Borough conduct an independent forensic analysis of the 2019 and Q1-Q3 2020 budgets, spending, and accounting procedures. The goals are to (a) help the Borough strengthen its procedures, (b) provide the public with a clear understanding of the state of the Borough’s finances, and (c) improve transparency. This may be done in partnership with existing entities that provide expert services for local governments in PA, such as the PA Municipal League and PA Department of Community & Economic Development.

 

Finance & Revenue Committee Member Nick Allen will lead a discussion about this request during the October 16 Public Finance & Revenue Committee Meeting at 6:30 pm. As this meeting date gets closer, visit www.west-chester.com and scroll down to “Virtual Borough Council Meetings” to access the WebEx link. I urge residents to participate.

 

I believe these actions will encourage transparency, accountability, and greater financial control for the taxpayers of West Chester, especially during these challenging economic times and reduced municipal revenue due to the pandemic.