Mayor says Niles working its way out of fiscal emergency


Mayor Steven Mientkiewicz said the city is close to enacting legislation critical to its release from fiscal emergency.

The issue: approving legislation authorizing a request for proposals from independent firms to develop a complete inventory of all city capital assets.

A state audit of city finances in 2017 but released Tuesday found Niles in non-compliance with state law for failing to maintain manual or computerized records of all city assets resulting in “an inability to manage and monitor” them in an effective manner. The issue has been ongoing.

“No such records exist” other than a partial list, according to the auditors, who call the absence of the comprehensive inventory “a material weakness” they are obligated to report under government accounting standards.

Other issues cited by the auditors include failure to update capital asset listings for the water, sewer and light departments since 1996; no accounting system to identify capital asset purchases and deletions; and no identification system such as inventory tags for capitalized items.

Council has been well aware of these for years, according to Mientkiewicz, who was 2nd Ward councilman until last week when he was selected mayor by Democratic precinct committee members over 10 rival candidates.

“Next week, legislation will cross council’s desk to rectify this issue,” Mientkiewicz told The Vindicator. “It’s the last finding we need to address before we can apply for release from fiscal emergency.”

Read MORE in Wednesday's VINDICATOR.

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