JOPLIN, MO.--- Today, State Auditor Tom Schweich announced supporters of a petition audit turned in 5,079 signatures to obtain the audit. After 2,000 signatures were verified by the Jasper County clerk, the counting process stopped. Only 1,776 signatures were required to obtain the audit. The audit is estimated to cost between $95,000 and $145,000. Tamko President and CEO David Humphreys is behind the drive. He requested the audit back in June to look into spending following the May 2011 tornado.
Humphreys released a statement this afternoon saying, "The overwhelming number of signatures from voters on the petition showed very clearly that there was broad-based community support for an audit to be conducted by Missouri State Auditor Schweich. Joplin residents deserve to know whether the city spent our tax dollars properly and in compliance with state law," said David Humphreys, Tamko President and CEO. "All of us want the city to be accountable for their spending and for tax dollars to be used as effectively and efficiently as possible. I would encourage anyone with any concerns or information that could assist the auditor and his team, to please contact the state auditor's office."
Joplin city leaders say they're not concerned about the audit.
"I'm not worried really about the financial piece, what the state auditor might find. They typically do find things, You know. So, I anticipate that having, you know, having been through an audit in the previous city that I was working under at the time. So, but from a process perspective, you know, it'll be interesting to hear, kind of what the state auditors thoughts are in terms of what we can be doing better to serve the needs of our residents," said Sam Anselm, Joplin Interim City Manager.
Anselm says he's asked the finance director to contact the state auditor's office in order to get the ball rolling on this process.