DPW Salt Budget Is One Of Who Knows How Many SLUSH FUNDS Being Used By Warwick City Leadership To "Balance" The Budget
Last night's BID on the city council finance committee table was $165K for road salt for the DPW department. Last fiscal year, the DPW used $87K out of their $165K road salt budget leaving $78K left over. Those left over funds get rolled back into the city's general fund budget, and no one knows where the money goes.
Over the past eight fiscal years, this one line item in our city budget- DPW road salt, budget code 63 292, has returned approximately $420K of the taxpayer's money back to the general fund budget-- and no one knows where the money is going. The city council also does not know how often this is occurring for any other line item in our city budget.
DPW Road Salt Use History:
Additionally last night at the city council meeting, the DPW was asked if their department hires outside private snow plowing contractors to do work for the city. The DPW spokeswoman, Christy Angell, before the city council finance committee, responded that the DPW does not contract out any private plowers.
Unfortunately, this isn't true. The city of Warwick uses taxpayer dollars to pay private plowing contractors and it's a direct violation of our city code of ordinances, Additionally, no one knows which line items in the DPW budget are funding these private plowing services (that shouldn't even be happening).
At the end of every fiscal year, the City of Warwick should have an ordinance that requires all departments that have have unused funds, to publish a financial report to the City Council indicating what amount they are returning to the city treasury. If they don't, they get no new money for the following fiscal year until they abide by the proposed city ordinance.
Considering all of this extra cash floating around, the least the City Council can do is the one thing they have never done yet-- have all city departments undergo a forensic fiscal audit.
Start with the city TREASURY department.
I believe it was last year that councilman Solomon referred to conducting a forensic audit as a "witch hunt." I'm still to this day baffled by that comment considering "witches" burned at the stake were innocent.