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S.D. Council to Have Power to Audit Mayor’s Financial Management

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Aired 4/19/09

San Diego City Council held a special meeting today, and voted to give themselves the power to audit the mayor’s financial management of the city. The mayor, meanwhile questions the city council members’ ability to do the job. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The city is struggling to find the best way to monitor itself, to make sure the financial scandal of the last few years never happens again. But the mayor and council part company over the Kroll reports recommendation to create an independent audit committee.

City attorney Mike Aguirre told the council that allowing Mayor Sanders’ office to appoint most of the audit committee is like asking the fox to guard the hen house. 

Aguirre: And I have total confidence in them, but you’re designing a system that’s going to last for the rest of the century.  

Aguirre said future mayors might not be so honest. He recommended the council vote three of their own members to serve as the audit committee. Mayor Sanders says he doubts the council has the financial expertise to do the job. But under the current strong mayor form of government the council can easily override Sanders’ veto. They voted to spend $15,000 a year to get themselves financial training. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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