The state auditor has reviewed the accounting books for a small southeast Iowa town after the town’s new mayor questioned the purchase of a Hy-Vee gift card and some cash transactions that happened under the previous administration. The city of Harper in Keokuk County had 134 residents when the 2000 Census was conducted.
It got a new mayor and a new city clerk in January and the new mayor questioned some of the old transactions he saw in the city’s books. The audit reviewed the previous two years and found the gift card hasn’t been spent. It was apparently set aside to buy trees this spring as part of a Trees Forever grant.
As for cash withdrawals, the audit found three 10-dollar withdrawals from the city’s savings account, but the money was then deposited in the city’s checking account. The move was likely made because the city would have been charged a fee because there had been no transactions in the savings account for two years. State Auditor Dave Vaudt says his team could not “identify any payments which appear to be improper.”
Vaudt did recommend that the new city clerk start preparing more detailed financial reports each month and having another city official review and sign off on expenses. Vaudt also chided the city for failing to properly keep minutes of city council meetings. Auditors could not find the minutes of two council meetings.