Town hall meeting addresses A.D.A concerns

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

"We suggest you be as transparent as possible," said Oklahoma's state auditor and inspector Gary Jones in addressing citizens' concerns about the Ardmore Development Authority.

"We've had an awful hard time gaining information from the Ardmore Development Authority," said Luke Pollard, who is one of those concerned citizens who attended the meeting.

It covered 16 separate issues, brought up at a previous town hall meeting three weeks ago including: possible lack of spending documentation and possible conflicts of interest between the A.D.A. and other agencies.

Jones said his office was contacted after several citizens asked the city manager for an audit of the organization.

Jones said he wanted to assess the situation.

"Let's find out exactly what the issues are, and so we chose to hold the town forum and came back with information that we had been given," said Jones.

He also said after reviewing the information about the A.D.A.'s spending and business transactions through documents and interviews from the group his office hasn't found much cause for concern.

"Having a lack of information sometimes people jump to conclusions. Well, if that information is available and you can look at it then you may determine--come to a different outcome," Jones said.

But ADA interim president Brian Carter said an audit is still a possibility.

"The city commission, Ardmore, the citizens still decide whether state audits get done," said Carter. "Our goal is to be responsive to questions."

Pollard said that goal is achievable thanks to the information Jones presented at this meeting.

"I think it's going to improve the transparency of the ADA," said Pollard. "I think they're going to be easier to work with."

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