Camden financial records disorganized for third consecutive year

    For the third consecutive year – Camden’s financial records are so disorganized that an auditor says he can’t judge the city’s economic status. New Jersey took over Camden seven years ago, promising to improve the city and its financial picture.

    For the third consecutive year – Camden’s financial records are so disorganized that an auditor says he can’t judge the city’s economic status. New Jersey took over Camden seven years ago, promising to improve the city and its financial picture. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

    Transcript:
    Imagine being the head of a city department but not being told on a regular basis throughout the year how much of your budget you’ve already spent.

    Camden County College political science professor John Pesda says such poor management and budgeting practices are at the heart of Camden’s ongoing financial trouble.

    Pesda: “This is done of course to guarantee that they don’t exceed their line item budgets by the end of the year.  Because in New Jersey like most states, municipalities have to balance the budget each year and of course Camden hasn’t done this in the past and new Jersey has bailed out the city of Camden.”

    The state’s control of Camden is set to end in 2012.  Pesda says if Camden’s finances are not in order by then, it will be hard for the city to convince state lawmakers to restore local control.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090304camdenfinance.mp3]

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