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Wilmer auditors’ presence requested

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Ellis County Press

WILMER - In an effort to have its 1999 audit completed, the Wilmer City Council unanimously approved a motion Thursday night, Aug. 17 to have its city's auditors present at the next regular meeting Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the community center.

Mayor Pro-Tem Don Hudson volunteered to be a council representative to work with auditors 'to see this is done.'

A very small gathering of citizens witnessed William Matthews of the Texas Water Development Board admonish the City of Wilmer about its 1999 audit - or lack thereof - during the recent meeting at the community center.

'I'm concerned we don't have a draft audit and records posted,' Matthews said. 'You don't know what city's financial situation is. The [former] city secretary [Rose Kendrick] passed away. Records just sat there. The current city secretary [Crystol Birdwell] didn't initiate it. There was some dissension in the city. It [the audit] wasn't a priority.'

There were a number of canceled meetings within the last two years, particulary in the months leading up to the May 2000 city elections.

'They are behind,' Matthews said of the city's audits. 'We're trying to catch up. I'm asking you to make it a priority. Talk to the CPA [Certified Public Accountants firm, Shaw Witherspoon & Co., PC of Ennis] about putting on a new person, since you are behind, to catch up. You're almost two years behind now. You're really not sure how much money you've got in the bank. It's not good business. What are your revenues? I don't know what that status is. It's no one's fault. It's just circumstances. When you've got a major member [Kendrick] leave . . .'

Matthews advised the council it had a new budget fast approaching.

'Your CPA didn't have criticism of anybody,' he said. 'It's just that you've gotten behind. It's a lot of data. Even though you're not a big town, you generate a lot of paperwork. I would impress upon you to get this up [to date]. Talk to your CPA. They're a good firm. They do other cities. It's going to take one of y'all to keep pushing it.'

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