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Lockport plans to establish comptroller post

LOCKPORT – Common Council President joseph C. Kibler said the Council reached a consensus behind closed doors Wednesday in favor of creating a new full-time job of city comptroller, which Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said would be an appointive position with Council confirmation.

“It would essentially be to ensure that all financial reports are submitted to the mayor, the Council and the state in a timely manner and in an accounting manner that’s satisfactory to the State Comptroller’s Office,” McCaffrey said.

Two state audits have said City Treasurer Michael E. White failed to do that, but Alderman Patrick W. Schrader said legal deadlines mean it’s already too late to place a proposition on the ballot this year to alter White’s duties or status as an elected official. His term expires at the end of 2015.

Kibler said Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano told the Council it could create a new job without a referendum. McCaffrey said she’d prefer to hire a certified public accountant for the post, once Ottaviano writes up a list of duties and qualifications.

“We are not picking on Mike White,” Schrader said. “We’re going to get him or the office some help. We hope the state will approve of what we’re doing, and we think they will.”