An audit is an effective way for the city of La Crosse to improve financial accountability and a common-sense approach to remove any gray area in perceived faulty financial processes or actions.

One of the most senior council members, Doug Happel, stated that when the question is asked, it should be answered and I agree.

The questions about our Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department must also be answered completely and externally, by experts trained to help cities improve their procedures and in turn their reputation.

Internal reviews are not audits. If a three-year audit costs 1 percent of a $3 million parks operating budget, and may also provide recommendations that can help us citywide, that is a tremendous value.

This action would reinforce a number of the council members' initiatives in identifying and more importantly fixing real problems.

An ancillary benefit would be proposed new ways to strengthen processes that leave gaps in oversight and accountability. Audits are easiest to conduct when financial protocols are followed and budget line items are easily traceable, so ask yourself — why are others so vigorously opposed? I suggest reaching out to your city council representative and the mayor before Thursday’s City Council meeting to ask them yourself and express support for a three-year external audit.

Greg Flottmeyer, La Crosse

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