Terre Haute City Councilman Raises Budget Questions

City Councilman Neil Garrison claims he hasn't gotten all the financial information he's wanted from city leaders.

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett says his administration has been forthcoming with council members seeking access to the city’s books.

Photo: WFIU/WTIU News

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett says his administration has been forthcoming with council members seeking access to the city’s books.

A Terre Haute city councilman says he wants more information from the mayor’s office about how the city plans to raise and spend money for the coming year.

Fifth District Councilman Neil Garrison says the city council may attempt to hire an outside financial analyst to examine the city’s fiscal health. Garrison says he has had trouble getting complete records of city finances from city leaders.

“We don’t just take what information is given to us or, in some cases, not turned over,” Garrison says.

But Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett says his administration has been forthcoming with council members seeking access to the city’s books.

“Any time they ask for a specific report, we provide that,” Bennett says. “They’ve had some vague requests that we can’t seem to exactly pinpoint what additional information they want. We’ve asked both of those councilmen to come in and meet with us and they’ve refused to do that to get it clarified.”

Another point of contention is the length of a tax anticipation loan the city took from the state to help meet its obligations. Bennett sought an 18-month loan, but the council reduced that to one which must be paid back by the end of the calendar year.

Bennett says he accepts that, but says he will now have to ask for another such loan in 2013. The second loan, the mayor says, will cost the city about $20,000 in origination fees, but will potentially save $30,000 in additional interest payments the longer loan would have incurred.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

View all posts by this author »

  • Neil Garrison

    “Any time they ask for a specific report, we provide that,” Bennett says. (…mentioned in your article above.)
    “We’ve been working on all that,” Bennett said. “They had requested that after we got the tax anticipation warrant. It’s just us putting some information together that we’ve already done but kind of packaging it for the council … We’re happy to oblige all of that information.”  (Tribune Star – June 7th, 2012)

    I requested a financial report that aligns revenue with expenses and now more than eight weeks have come and gone and still no report has been furnished to the city council. This is why the council is considering acquiring an outside financial analyst. We only seek the truth and transparency. 

    Neil Garrison
    Terre Haute City Council 
    8-6-2012

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Politics Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook