Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 | Once again, the Union-Tribune got it exactly backwards when it criticized the San Diego City Council in today’s Opinion section, declaring that the Council “shirks [its] duty on financial report.”

The council is exactly right to push back on the mayor’s attempt to rope them into taking responsibility for the administration’s own financial statements. The council is correct to tell the mayor that financial statements are the responsibility of the mayor and his CFO. The council’s role should never be to simply bless the mayor’s reports: that would be a rubber stamp, and that would be irresponsible. How odd that the Union-Tribune should criticize the council for not rubber-stamping.

If the council has a role in the blessing of the financial statements, it should properly be limited to assigning to a council committee the task of inquiring as appropriate into the mayor’s and CFO’s accounting practices, to obtain reasonable assurance that the statements are reliable. But, the buck has to stop with the mayor.

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