Parkersburg mayor defends city finances following state re-audit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parkersburg mayor defends city finances following state re-audit

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A petition from residents in Parkersburg prompted a re-audit into the city's finances. Despite the state auditor's concern over the city's operations, the mayor of Parkersburg stands by the way taxpayer dollars are being used.

"It was our statutory responsibility," said State Auditor Mary Mosiman after conducting a re-audit into the city of Parkersburg. 

The investigation, which included looking at documentation of time cards, and interviews of city employees, raised questions as to how the city of Parkersburg operates. Mosiman says the re-audit found a lack of efficiency and accuracy in how the city of Parkersburg operates. 

The audit pointed to a number of items, including the "components of the City Administrator's and Deputy City Clerk's salaries," and the "collection of 'double pay' for performing additional duties outside of City Hall."

Parkersburg mayor Perry Bernard disagrees with the state auditor's findings, standing by his city of 1900 and how they use taxpayer dollars. 

"We're a small city," said Mayor Bernard. "We're not a Des Moines, we're not a Cedar Rapids. We don't have that money pot that a lot of other big cities do. So we have a limited number of employees. So we do ask that those employees do those extra jobs and we do compensate them because they're paid hourly."

The state auditor also questions the capacity of the City Administrator Chris Luhring in multiple roles including grave digging at the cemetery, snow removal, and EMT calls. 

"You know having those employees do those extra jobs, we save a huge amount of money for the city," said Mayor Bernard. "So I don't see how we are not financially responsible for taxpayer money."

KWWL spoke with state auditor Mosiman who pointed to one glaring finding. After looking at time cards, Mosiman says one of their concerns was city employees were being paid simultaneously for two different jobs.

When asked about the "double pay," Mayor Bernard denied those findings. 

"Is he clocked in on the grave site while he's also working as a city administrator?" asked KWWL.  "No, he does his administrator duties, and any time he's doing those other duties, that's off the administrator clock," said Mayor Bernard. "And you monitor it?" asked KWWL. "Yes, I monitor each and every time card," said Mayor Bernard. 

Mayor Bernard  says the city of Parkersburg has gone above and beyond the law, hiring a private attorney and working with someone at the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure that their practices were sound. 

The state auditor recommends a re-evaluation of job duties for city employees, as well as re-calculating the city's hourly rate for it's employees. 

.To view the state auditor's re-audit, see the document below.

To read the city's response to the re-audit, see the document below. 


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