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Audits vital to keeping public faith

A key component of democracy is transparency of government and a belief that public money is being handled properly.

It is with that in mind that the village of Coal Grove has asked the auditor of state to review its finances after reports that bills were unpaid and financial statements that council officials didn’t think were accurate.

Even at the cost of $41 an hour for the special audit, it is money well spent to ensure that everything is being handled appropriately and that the village’s finances are open.

The auditors are working with Diana Wise, the village’s clerk-treasurer, to address the situation. Wise has been in office a little more than a year and likely isn’t the only one in the county in a similar position who faces challenges in how to handle all the paperwork correctly.

No one should rush to judgement in this situation because the reality is that the facts aren’t in until the audit is complete.

It would be nice if the state auditor’s office took a proactive approach by implementing a more intensive education program that can provide needed training to elected officials and public employees who handle taxpayer dollars.

An aggressive approach first could make all the difference later.