Traverse City Record-Eagle

Our Views

August 2, 2012

Editorial: Audit must pass transparency test

If the management audit (or efficiency review) of Traverse City Light & Power is as thorough as the vetting process to pick an auditing firm appears to have been, the whole exercise could be worth the time and money it will cost. If it isn't, the city should chuck it right now.

Beyond any other concerns, picking an auditing firm and conducting a clean and transparent audit must first pass the considerable sniff test the entire process will be subjected to; it's a situation rife with political undercurrents and various parties will be quick to undermine it if the audit doesn't go their way.

That's why it's so important that everyone involved gets a say in which firm will do the actual work.

A task force made up of representatives from the city commission, Light & Power and local business and community leaders will next week interview the three firms that said they were interested.

The task force's recommendation will go to the Light & Power board in late August or early September for approval, then to the city commission.

While the management review — it is also being called an efficiency study — won't absolutely settle the issue, it should go a long way toward supporting or dispelling claims by various parties that Light & Power is overstaffed or administratively top-heavy or inefficient. There have been plenty of questions about Light & Power's $30 million surplus, the utility's marketing efforts and some recent decisions the city commission wanted to be better informed about.

Under the city charter Light & Power is a separate city department with its own board; those board members are chosen by the city commission.

If successful, the audit should answer those questions and more. If it's not, we'll be right where we started after spending up to $100,000 of Light & Power dollars.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl