The Lynwood City Council has appointed an Ad Hoc Committee to address the issues raised in a recent State Auditor’s report. The Committee, comprised of Mayor Pro Tempore Jorge Casanova, Councilmember Oscar Flores, City Manager Ernie Hernandez and finance experts, has already met to consider ways to improve the city practices and outline a strategy to address the issues raised in the report.
The committee has directed city management to address the water and sewer funds issue cited in the report. New City Manager Ernie Hernandez is developing a strategy to ensure that these funds are kept separate from other city revenues.
The Council received the auditor report in late September and immediately held a special meeting on September 27. At the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting (October 5th) members appointed the Ad Hoc Committee to report back regularly to the Council and the community on progress made.
“Soon after starting my tenure here as City Manager and becoming aware of the impending audit and audit findings, I began to impose some new financial practices that will help us achieve the financial and organizational stability we all desire,” said Hernandez. “I have already been working cooperatively with the State auditor’s representatives and will continue to update them on our progress.”
Hernandez was appointed City Manager earlier this year. The two councilmembers who are serving on the Ad Hoc Committee emphasized the city is already moving quickly to address the issues.
“We moved immediately after receiving the auditor report. With our new city leadership, I am confident we will satisfy the auditor,” said Mayor Pro Tem Casanova. “Our residents rightfully expect us to be good stewards of their money and this is what drove us to act as fast as we did.”
City Councilmember Oscar Flores also believes the city has the right team to make the necessary improvements and additions outlined in the report.
“We are in good hands. As a City Council we are committed to implementing best practices and righting the ship. We hired this city manager and have been putting together high-level leadership team because we knew that we had to perform the business of the city in a more professional way. We will address these issues because we owe it to our residents to do things the right way,” said Flores.
The State Auditor’s report on Lynwood’s finances was initially released in the fall of 2018 and identified nine financial issues that needed to be addressed. Its follow-up report this fall indicated that only one of the nine had been resolved, two others are pending and six are partially addressed.
The current City Council is committed to making sure that the auditor and the city’s residents are kept up to date on progress on these issues.
As Mayor Marisela Santana said, “This report gives us an opportunity to put the City of Lynwood on the right path. For the sake of our community, the council members are committed to leaving this city better than how we found it”