The Westfield City Council unanimously approved an audit of Grand Park at its Aug. 10 council meeting.
The vote came several days after Mayor Andy Cook initiated a financial review of all city financial practices and accounts. Cook ordered the review after council member Troy Patton expressed concern over a financial discrepancy between Bullpen Tournaments and Grand Park.
“The Westfield City Council has talked about an audit of past city actions and operations and has done nothing,” Cook stated. “Unfortunately, damaging, unfounded accusations have been made and spilled into the public commentary, specifically casting aspersions at the Westfield Redevelopment Commission (RDC) and Grand Park. It is time to end this and I am taking action to authorize a review of the RDC and Grand Park, as well as all City departments and offices.”
However, council president Joe Edwards said he authored a resolution for a full audit before the financial review was announced Aug. 7.
“I think it would fit very nicely with what they’re doing,” Edwards said. “The council petitions for an independent certified audit of records and contracts at Grand Park under authority of the City of Westfield Redevelopment Authority and City of Westfield’s Redevelopment Commission, and the results of the above audit will be presented to the council, the city administration and the republic at large.”
Edwards said there’s a difference between an audit and a financial review.
“I’ve asked for an audit,” Edwards said. “An audit is the highest of the services an auditing CPA or CPA group can perform. The lowest is a compilation and a review is a middle ground. A review, which is what the mayor proposes, only requires limited assurance and only limited testing is conducted for a review. A review basically reports on the plausibility of the financials of the companies or outfits being examined. So, to me, if we are going to do this, we ought to do it right, and I’m petitioning the city administration for an audit.”
Patton said he figured it would’ve been better if the city administration and the council had collaborated from the start.
“It would’ve been great to actually work together as opposed to throwing out a press release on something that is clearly superficial at best instead of having us go through and work together to try to create something that would benefit the taxpayers as opposed to what may just be one side,” said Patton, a CPA.
For more, visit westfield.in.gov.