Columbus – Failure by the City of East Cleveland to submit an acceptable financial recovery plan to address the concerns outlined in its fiscal caution declaration prompted Auditor of State Dave Yost to elevate the city’s status to fiscal watch.
A review of fund financial data in November 2011 found the City of East Cleveland had deficit fund balances in the amount of $5,872,222, which exceeds two percent of estimated revenue of those funds by $5,451,535. These deficit fund balances led to the city being placed in a state of fiscal caution on January 5, 2012.
The fiscal caution declaration required the city to develop and provide a written proposal to the Auditor of State to correct the budgetary conditions that led to the declaration of fiscal caution, including eliminating deficit fund balances. This declaration of fiscal watch is based on the city’s failure to submit an acceptable recovery proposal to the Auditor of State’s office.
In recent discussions, city officials have stated some improvements implemented by the mayor’s office, including procedure revisions, which may assist in the development of an acceptable financial recovery plan.
The City of East Cleveland must now submit a financial recovery plan within 120 days of today’s declaration designed to identify the actions that will be taken to correct its financial problems, as well as a 5-year financial forecast. If the city remains unable to submit an acceptable recovery plan, fiscal emergency will be declared and a financial planning and supervision commission would be appointed.
Technical assistance is available from the Auditor of State’s office to city officials to aid in addressing their financial concerns.
A full copy of this fiscal watch declaration may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.