The findings of a 2007-2008 City of Grove fiscal year audit were the “best you can get,” according to an auditor who presented his assessment to the Grove City Council at a regular meeting Tuesday night.
Robert Kershaw of Kershaw CPA and Associates said Grove’s city personnel rank among the most skilled that he’s ever seen in local government.
“I have an office in Ponca City and I work for a lot of Oklahoma cities east of I-35, so I have a pretty good idea what’s going in the industry,” Kershaw said.
He said in his opinion Grove is one of the most well-managed cities in the state, along with having one of the highest rates of capital per capita.
He added that Grove is in compliance with federal laws and regulations.
The council will now review the audit and meet with Kershaw again in two weeks.
In other business, the council discussed the lodging tax that was recently rejected by voters.
City Manager Bruce Johnson said that this was the only tax of this nature that the experts he consulted had ever seen fail.
Council members said the language in the tax ordinance needed reworking so that it clearly indicated that the tax would be used to promote tourism.
Ward II Council Member Terry Ryan said, “This is a worthy tax for the city because they (city residents) don’t pay for that tax.
“All of the concerns and issues (brought up by citizens) are legitimate,” Ryan continued. “We need to be clear about how it should be spent and managed before we bring it before the voters.”
Mayor Gary Bishop said that he believes once citizens understand who pays the tax and how it will be used it will pass.
Council members said they plan to put the tax on the back burner for at least the next six months.
Johnson said it might be helpful to go ahead and form the committee that had been planned to decide how best the money should be spent so that a complete plan could be in place before bringing the proposal back to the voters.
The council also accepted a bid to equip four new Dodge Charger police patrol vehicles with lighting, radar guns, video cameras, and other gear for $47,341.84 and voted to allow Williams Home, LLC to replat a portion of Baycrest Village in order to build houses.
Grove City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Room 5 of the Grove Community Center, 104 West Third Street.