Credit: Doug Breehl-Pitorak / Cleveland Documenters

Documenter Seanna Jackson was one of many Cleveland Documenters who attended Cleveland City Council’s budget hearings in February. In addition to her notes, Seanna had some excellent follow-up questions, two of which we got answers to. She asked, “Why are the budget numbers reported as unaudited? Why are audits not performed before a budget?”

Seanna’s question was about the unaudited 2020 budget numbers seen in the 2021 Mayor’s Estimate, the city’s proposed budget.

A screenshot of a page from the 2021 City of Cleveland Mayor’s Estimate. Credit: 2021 City of Cleveland Mayor’s Estimate / City of Cleveland

Audits won’t be completed until this summer, according to Gregory Cordek, manager of the Office of Budget and Management. He said “unaudited” doesn’t translate to “inaccurate.” Cordek said that people can read the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) to see audited 2020 budget numbers.

The city has issued the last seven audit reports in the summer. You can access them on the city website, and you can read Seanna’s full notes on the Feb. 22 budget hearing here.

Find easy-to-read briefs on local government meetings here.

Assignment Editor (he/him)
Doug, a Cleveland Documenter since 2020, has been a copy editor and reporter. His work includes: The Pace of Passage about how quickly Cleveland City Council passes legislation; a look at the challenges of the city’s Exterior Home Paint program; and University Circle Police Department’s complaint-review process. Doug has also written explainers and guides and launched #CLEDocsAnswers, which answers questions Documenters have about local government.

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.