Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Letter to the Auditor

wms on steps

Award-winning Auditor Trent Williams

Feb. 20, 2007

Dear Mr. Williams:

This is a formal request under Ohio
's open records statutes.

What I am requesting are any records and letters relating to the membership of the city of Portsmouth
, the Auditor's office, and you individually in the Government Finance Officers Association. I would like to know what membership fees or payments of any kind are made to the GFOA.

I would also like to look at the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) to see if there are pages I would like to have copies of.

The report on the front page of the Daily Times (Feb.15, 2007) began with sentence, “With a projected budget deficit for 2007 ranging between $300,000 and $600,000, it’s hard to find any good news in the city.” I want to better understand how a city in such precarious financial shape is able to win an award for anything, but especially an award “for excellence in accounting and financial reporting.” Have you reported that the city faces a deficit of between $300,000 and $600,000? Is that part of your award winning performance? It is questions like these that as a citizen of Portsmouth
I would like the answers to.

When you have copies of the records and letters, and have a copy of the CAFR for me to peruse, please notify by return email. I trust you will do this with the promptness that Ohio
’s open records law calls for.

Please be advised that I will make emails available to the public, since I know there are others who are as puzzled as I am by a city in a financial crisis, and facing a deficit of from $300,000 to $600,000, getting an auditing award.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

Robert Forrey, Ph.D.