Bay St. Louis Audit Findings

Bay St. Louis City Council plans for a better financial future after today’s audit presentation. News 25’s Kendra Turley has more on the city’s action plan toward a consistently accurate budget.
Today’s Bay St. Louis audit presentation revealed 14 financial statement preliminary findings, such as inaccurate record keeping and past due utility bills. Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said, “Any finding is a big concern. So, we’re equally concerned about all of them. Even though all of them, like I said, are not minor findings but they’re easy to fix findings.”
Budgeting was a major concern for many in attendance. The original budget that was presented to the City Council has a miscalculation of approximately $621,000 spread in the council minutes. “It’s obvious that we need some professional staffing that is going to come in and help us provide the systems that will eliminate those type of issues in our financial department,” said Mayor Fillingame.
Dozens of Bay St. Louis residents came out to tonight’s audit presentation. Some were thrilled to find out that the findings were an easy fix. Others were not so hopeful for the future. Resident Jim Thriffiley III said, “I anticipate that there’s going to be a terrible millage increase this year to offset, I don’t want to say improper work, but the work hasn’t done the job to get everything done as efficiently as possible and that’s where our weakness is.”
According to Fillingame, there’s been a constant disconnect between the Council and the administration as far as communicating the needs of both. “We need to all just kind of reduce some of the animosity and start working a little closer together and that’s going to require some effort on everybody’s part,” said the mayor.
The audit will be available to the public once it is accepted and approved by the City Council.

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