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AUDITS ON PARKS WERE NEVER LACKING

Council Member Coppola's "suggestion" in The Buffalo News June 7 that problems in the Buffalo Parks Department could have been avoided had regular audits been performed is not even supported by the Common Council's own official record on the subject.

Mr. Coppola voted to confirm Robert Delano as parks commissioner on April 30, 1985, in spite of my March 19, 1985, audit of the MUNY Softball League which criticized Mr. Delano and his family's involvement.

Mr. Coppola voted to approve payment for topsoil and sandy loam purchased by the Parks Department on Dec. 23, 1986. He took this action despite my audit in which I refused to pay for these due to purchase irregularities.

Mr. Coppola failed to take any action to resolve shortcomings in the Parks Department which I cited in audits which were regularly filed with the Common Council. The three most recent covered May 1987-June 1989, September 1985-April 1987 and January 1984-August 1985. These shortcomings included a 70 percent uncollected-bill rate, unsatisfactory bookkeeping, below-market rent to Mr. Delano and lack of concession agreements, to name a few.

Mr. Coppola took no action when my audit disclosed Mr. Delano's involvement in the Park Department's food program.

He finally took action in December 1989 when he voted to implement my recommendation that a Parks Oversight Committee be formed.

Perhaps if Mr. Coppola had not ignored my earlier recommendations, he would not have had to implement my latest one.

PAUL BUCHANAN
City Auditor 1970-1989
Buffalo

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