Trick or treat time (October 5, 2016)

The Town of Apple Valley touts their Financial Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and the California State Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) to make the public feel warm and fuzzy about their tax dollars. Unfortunately the awards are the equivalent of participation awards, judged on such things as, is there a table of contents and an organizational chart, etc., basically on the aesthetics of the documents, as stated by the Mayor upon budget adoption, it is a beautiful document. Beauty is only skin deep.

The frightful reality, TOAV received the same number of GFOA awards as the City of Flint, Michigan, and prior to their scandalous financial ruin the City of Bell received the same awards, from both the GFOA and CSMFO as did TOAV.

These awards are nothing more than a costume on the documents to disguise what is inside and provides no assurance as to the credibility and integrity of the financial content, while using tax dollars to pay for the awards. Will you be tricked this season in to a false sense of security?

— Leane Lee, Apple Valley

Published: Daily Press, October 17, 2016