Burlingame audits expected soon
My thanks to the Citizen Budget Task Force for valuable suggestions on investigating, understanding and reforming the affordable housing program. This panel was appointed by the council at my request many months ago and has worked hard to make recommendations on housing issues.
Specifically, the task force recommended, and the city has implemented, two investigative audits of past expenditures and the process by which costs increased and erroneous data was published. We expect complete results shortly on how things happened, who made decisions and what circumstances have caused increases in project costs at Burlingame.
The auditors will also make recommendations on going forward with improved reporting, accountability and cost-saving measures.
No evidence has been presented to the council or city attorney of criminal wrongdoing that would merit appointment of a “special” prosecutor to conduct investigations in addition to those described above. I do not believe Tim Semrau, Helen Klanderud, Rachel Richards or anyone else intentionally deceived the electorate in citing construction cost data on this project.
If anyone has such evidence, the district attorney, Martin Beeson, is an elected official who is wholly independent of the city of Aspen and more than capable of pursuing an independent investigation of criminal wrongdoing, as alleged by Marilyn Marks, in her e-mail to the city attorney, and by James Perry in their correspondence with the city.
I hope everyone concerned with this issue will attend the open house at city hall on Tuesday, July 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Representatives from the investigative auditing team, Alavarez and Marsel LLC, Burlingame residents, city staff members and experts on this issue will be on hand to answer your questions about the costs and benefits of this project. Detailed questions that cannot be answered on the spot will be answered in writing.
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