Claremore City Manager Addresses Call For Independent Audit


Monday, August 6th 2018, 10:12 am
By: News On 6


Claremore city councilors are deciding whether to have a state auditor take a closer look at the city's finances.

The move comes as hundreds of citizens sign a petition asking for a separate audit.

But the city manager told News On 6 some of the information in the petition is misleading.

City Manager Jim Thomas said the city has always been transparent and said an audit will prove the city is doing nothing wrong.

The petition for the audit addresses high electric bills, sales tax collections, and claims of late payments to GRDA.

As for sales tax collections, Thomas said the city only gets three percent of what's collected, the rest goes to the state and county.

Thomas also pushed back on late payments, saying the city hasn't missed or been delinquent on any payment since 2012.

And here's what he had to say about claims of high electric bills.

"If we have a problem with smart meters not calculating electric rates in Claremore, Oklahoma than we have a problem in the state of Oklahoma and a problem in the United States of America," Thomas said.  

Resident Shelly Taylor is leading the petition effort, which specifically mentions the items she and others want to be looked at.

5/1/2018 Related Story: Claremore Residents Frustrated By High Electric Bills Petition For Audit

"I have reached out to the members of my community and asked if they wanted this stuff to continue, they are the ones who have asked for the petition each time," Taylor said. 

This is Taylor's third petition effort.

She has until the end of the month to collect all the needed signatures.

Thomas said he'll start the paperwork Tuesday if the council signs off on the audit Monday night.