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State audit needed for the city

An audit ordered by former Mayor James Perkins Jr. is supposed to give the incoming Selma City Council and the new mayor, George Evans, a view of the city’s finances.

While we find it honorable that Perkins would have such an audit conducted prior to leaving office, we aren’t totally satisfied that this is the proper measuring stick for city finances.

For at least four years, perhaps more, a dam held back the flow of information from the public and members of the city council to the point when council members asked questions publicly at meetings, some of them were accused of personal biases.

Nobody really has a grasp on the city’s finances or what issues hover over the bookkeeping system instituted at City Hall. Even past audits show the same exceptions occurred from year to year.

Mayor Evans took office last week. We would expect him to invite representatives from the Alabama Department of Public Accounts to come to Selma as quickly as possible, give the books a good going-over and make recommendations of how the city may go from this starting point.

Mayor Evans is aware of the issues that envelope the city’s financial department. He is likely more aware now than he was two weeks ago.

When he makes the call for the state to come in and look at the city’s books, Evans should have the full support of the city council. This action certainly is not political because Perkins no longer holds office.

This action is a good practice for any changing of the guard. Any time a chief executive comes into office, a baseline needs drawing. This action of calling in the state to take a look at the books is a rational move.

We hope Mayor Evans does not wait too long to make this move.