Fort Myers city council votes for audit of city’s finances and operations

Published: January 18, 2022 2:27 PM EST
Updated: January 19, 2022 10:41 AM EST

Fort Myers City Council voted to approve an audit of the city’s finances and operations during their Tuesday meeting.

The proposal was made by Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson who wanted an audit into every penny the city spends and every operation the city runs.

Anderson told WINK News exclusively that a low water pressure issue in Ward 6 of the city raised alarms as a problem that should have been addressed in the past but has since just gotten worse.

It got Anderson and his office wondering what other issues could exist in Fort Myers’ spending and operations practices.

During the Tuesday meeting, he presented an agenda item that called for the city to get audit proposals from four large accounting firms.

An audit would allow the city to find and fix problems like the low water pressure issue before it gets too serious and too expensive.

“It’s a problem that should have been addressed a while ago. Now I’m concerned, are there other issues under the surface that we’re not aware of, that are bubbling? In my mind, this is a proactive way to make sure we’re being good stewards of tax dollars,” Anderson said.

According to the city’s meeting agenda, the audit of the city’s finances and operations was discussed during two previous meetings. Even though there was full support, a motion was never made.

“I don’t think that we’re spending money like drunken sailors, but I do believe there’s always room to be more prudent with how we spend,” Anderson said, adding that, “It’s an operational audit as well. We could be doing things operationally that we no longer are required to do, and resources could be used elsewhere.”

Anderson said the audit could take at least one year, but hopefully not more than two years.

He also said it’s too early to tell how much it could cost the city.

The audit approved on Tuesday would include every aspect of the city including risk management systems and controls, performance, financial regulations, and advisory covering all offices, departments, committees, and boards.

City Council now has 45 days to solicit proposals from the four accounting firms and they are expected to decide whether to move forward in early March.