JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released audits of the City of Clever and the City of Clever Municipal Division in the Thirty-Eighth Judicial Circuit. The audits gave both the city and the municipal division a rating of “good.” Clever is located in southwest Missouri in Christian County.
“Earlier this year, concerned citizens in Clever asked my office to do an independent review of the city’s financial operations,” Auditor Galloway said. “Our audits recommended changes to increase efficiency and accountability. City officials responded positively to the audit findings and indicated they’ve implemented many of the recommendations. That’s how audits get results and taxpayers benefit.”
The audit of the city of Clever, which was initiated through a citizen petition, found a need to improve city payroll controls and procedures, including better review of timesheets, leave usage and holiday pay. The audit recommended that the city develop a clear criteria for incentive payments. In 2019, the Board of Aldermen approved and paid safety incentive payments totaling $900 to nine city employees and city officials indicated the payments are a longstanding practice. However, the city does not have a formalized process for awarding this additional compensation.
The audit also recommended better planning related to the use and purchase of real estate. In March 2020, the city purchased two lots of land next to city hall for significantly more than the appraised value. While city officials indicated the land could possibly be used to expand city hall in the future, there are no immediate plans for development.
The audit of the municipal division found that the city did not establish a separate fund or accounting for money collected for three different court costs that are assessed. Because of this, the municipal division and the city have little assurance that those court costs were properly used in compliance with state law. The audit also found the Municipal Judge did not always approve the final disposition of cases.