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Auditor Yost Releases City of Mansfield from Fiscal Emergency
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today released the City of Mansfield (Richland County) from fiscal emergency in the final meeting of their financial planning and supervision commission.
"It is a new day in Mansfield," Auditor Yost said. "It took new ways of doing the public business to get here, and it will take the same kind of leadership in the years ahead. There's no going back."
The City of Mansfield first was placed in fiscal watch on December 15, 2009 due to a forecasted deficit in the general fund of $2,915,000 for the year ending December 31, 2009. Fiscal emergency was declared on August 19, 2010 due to aggregate fund deficits in seven funds totaling $3,841,050.
To eliminate the deficits, the city took various measures to decrease spending and increase revenues. The city sold unused structures and harvested timber from city-owned property for one-time revenues of $183,000. Increasing EMS transport fees to levels in line with similar communities provides an additional $192,000 annually.
Numerous positions were eliminated and left open after employees resigned or retired. In addition, non-bargaining unit employees took furlough days. Mansfield voters approved an additional quarter percent income tax increase in November 2013, which will generate approximately $3.3 million in annual revenue when fully collected.
The Auditor of State’s office conducted a performance audit of Mansfield in 2011 and provided the city with $3.3 million in potential savings. City officials implemented several of the recommendations, which included renegotiating benefits packages with employees and improving the budgetary process.
To be released from fiscal emergency, the City of Mansfield met the following criteria:
- Adopted and implemented an effective financial accounting and reporting system;
- Corrected or eliminated all of the fiscal emergency conditions and no new conditions have occurred, and it appears that, based on its five-year forecast, the City of Mansfield will remain out of fiscal emergency during the forecast period;
- Met the major objectives of the financial recovery plan; and
- Prepared a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State, and the opinion expressed by the Auditor of State is “nonadverse.”
A full copy of this fiscal emergency termination may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.