State Audits City of Bell - Should LHH be next?

The City of Bell is undergoing an audit by the State Controllers Office by a team of 8 auditors for about 6 weeks.

The interim City administrator for Bell wanted an independent fiscal review.

The Controller's Office Audits all public funds with a focus on State funds.

The Controller's Office also uses reporter's tips and whistle blowers when determining when to conduct audits.

Should LHH Have a State Audit?

Some residents have expressed deep concern over the Council's reworking the City's books; taking monies from what had been historically credited to the Fire Department, transferring the monies to the City's General Fund, saying the Fire Fund is thus "bankrupt", calling it a "subsidy" when the monies were returned to the Fire Department, and declaring the need for an increase in the Fire Tax.

Additional concerns have been expressed over portions of City Staff compensation being charged to the Fire Department and funding a newly created Management Analyst position out of the Fire Department, all while full-time personnel were removed or resigned, the City suffered a large drop in its Fire Suppression Capability Rating, staffing was reduced to one Fire Engine, the Fire Academy was defunded by the City Council, and a part time Fire Chief was hired, for almost what the prior full-time Chief was paid.

Earlier, Roads Assessment Funds were diverted to non-maintenance uses.

Recently, the Las Palomas repaving project's contractor received $31,000 (project funding included State Prop 1B monies and Gas Tax Funds) that the Council could have retained due to contract violations.

The City Council has also removed important details from the City Budget and publicly castigated those who request public documents for costing the City tens of thousands of dollars.

In a past conversation with the District Attorney's Office, considering types of "wrongdoing" in La Habra Heights, such as predetermining the outcome of an appeal before the Council, attempting to prevent public comment, lack of notice of public meetings, etc, the opinion was expressed that those may amount to bad governance, but not necessarily criminal acts.

It is up to voters to keep an eye on their government, and vote out, or recall, bad actors.