The City of Jeanerette is no longer under the microscope, when it comes to the city’s financial record keeping. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s positive report is a good sign for the city, after years of problems.
“This is the first clean audit we can announce to all of our citizens,” said Carol Bourgeois, mayor of Jeanerette.
The big issue in Jeanerette that was weighing on the books was that some people were not paying their utility bills or property taxes. Less money coming in means less money for police and fire protection, and public works.
In 2019, state officials found the city failed to collect more than $250,000 in taxes and bills from residents. The state found, in previous years, accounting errors in the city’s record logs. For example, in 2014 there was no oversight on the use of city fuel cards, which has since been fixed.
“There were lots of issues in the past, and certainly that’s what it is, the past. So, we’re going forward,” said Bourgeois.
According to the latest audit of the city’s books, for the year ending June 30, 2020, it was found that financial record keeping has no “material weaknesses” or “significant deficiencies.” Tax collection is being enforced, as well as utility payments and cutoffs.
“I call it the good ship Jeanerette. We may have not been listening at first, but things are getting upright, and we’re sailing along. It’s a great feeling. Certainly a great feeling,” said Bourgeois.
Mayor Bourgeois says the City of Jeanerette will remain under the state fiscal administrator until a request to hand over full control back to the city is approved by the legislative auditor, state treasurer, and attorney general. The state will then continue to monitor the city for the next three years.
Click here to read the latest audit report.