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Letter: City Has Failed to Publish Its Comprehensive Financial Report

Naperville Patch accepts letters to the editor and opinion pieces. Please send letters to Local Editor Mary Ann Lopez at maryl@patch.com

Editor's note: This letter was submitted on Nov. 2

At last night’s Naperville city council meeting, councilman Grant Wehrli  explained to Kim Bendis the reason for her being ejected from the October 18th city council meeting.  Ms. Bendis had made a vocal response to a council member’s inaccurate remarks about health and safety issues associated with smart meters.  Councilman Wehrli stated her conduct was a violation of a city council meeting rule, and that rules must be followed for there to be a civil discourse in society

However, shouldn’t rules be  applied equally to all citizens?  Shouldn’t the entire city council and the city manager have been escorted from the chamber by the Naperville Police Department?  They have allowed the to violate the rule (Illinois statute and local ordinance) requiring the city to publish the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) within 6 months of the close of the fiscal year ending April 30, 2011.  A notice posted on the city’s website, stated only that the CAFR would be late, for an unknown period, and for unexplained reasons.  Failure to meet this important deadline is intolerable.

It is very troubling that the city has failed to produce this key document within the statutory time frame, especially in these economic times.  Citizens today are actively engaged and involved in their government.  We need accurate, reliable and timely information on where and how our tax dollars were spent, and how much debt the city has amassed. 

For now, all decisions by the city council on next year’s budget should be put on hold until the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has been published, and citizens have adequate time to read and evaluate it.  Only then can taxpayers have meaningful input into the budgetary process, and let the city council know what fiscal course they want the city to take.

John Glass

Walter Burien November 11, 2011 at 07:04 AM
To realize the importance of the City's CAFR while we await the 2011 issue, I suggest all review the City's past CAFR issues. The 2006 to 2010 issues can be viewed and downloaded from here - http://www.naperville.il.us/cafr.aspx Pay special attention to the "Notes to the Financial Section" Walter Burien - CAFR1.com
Walter Burien November 22, 2012 at 03:05 PM
FOLLOW-UP: Was a good one and the mention of the city CAFR is exemplary. As a reporter I just wanted to give you one thought: Collective totals There are about 184,000 local government operations in the country each with their own investment accounts. Then there are about 20,000 federal. The last time I tabulated back in 2007, the "collective" totals of liquid investment assets held domestic and international was a conservative 110 trillion dollars in value. ENRON promoted its profits and hid its debt. Government does the exact opposite: They promote their debt and rarely mention the profit / standing investment advance liability fund balances. (investment & enterprise) The debt promoted is rather small in comparison with "standing" investment assets. One last note: That debt in many cases on the local and national level that is promoted at the front door is significantly "funded" with government's own investment assets through the back door. (60%+) Walter Burien - CAFR1.com

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