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Council committee votes yes on $30K parks audit

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Full council to vote next week in auditing financial records 

The right thing to do to regain the public’s trust.

That’s La Crosse city council member Jessica Olson’s take Thursday on a plan to pay up to $30,000 for an external audit of the city’s park and rec. department.

Olson said at the council committee vote, “$30,000 is a small price to pay for credibility.”

“This building and this body has, at times, gotten a reputation, whether earned or accidental, of being dishonest, shady or crooked,” Olson added.

She says there’s been just too many questions about how the department handles money, especially donations.

“I don’t think anybody is hoping to find something or to end up with somebody getting into trouble,” Olson said. “That’s not the purpose.

“But, this is an oppurtunity for at least one dept to have a clear name and a clear reputation with the city and taxpayers. I think it’s money well spent.”

Proposals for an audit come on the heels of public complaints about how the parks department manages money for large projects.

The city council’s finance committee on Thursday night approved the audit. The full council votes on the issue next week to look at the last three years of financial records for the department.

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