Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/22/2010 03:53:23 PM PST

COLTON – An audit the City Council approved in August 2007 for $65,000 has council members split on what benefit it provided the city.

The results of the audit have never officially been presented to the council or made public. Some council members say the money was wasted and produced nothing of value while others argue work that was completed did have worth.

“This is the kind of stuff that we need to clean up and hold staff accountable for,” said Councilman Richard DeLaRosa. “Making sure that the money we spend is not in waste.”

A 2007 city report states the audit would attempt to determine if the city was being managed and operated to maximize performance and how well prepared it was for “the development wave that is coming.”

“The idea was to try and prepare for development projects and growth that Colton had … perhaps never experienced,” former City Manager Daryl Parrish said in an e-mail.

Parrish, who proposed the audit, said he was in contact with the auditor, Citygate Associates, LLC, and periodic updates were provided to the council. He said the audit was completed and it suggested “additional staffing in key management sectors.”

The audit’s results were never implemented or presented to the council because the city didn’t have the money to pay for new employees, Parrish said.

Councilman David Toro said he remembers speaking with Parrish about the audit.

“As far as spending that much money and not really getting anything, it was a waste,” Toro said.

Parrish said the audit provided value by confirming the city would need to adjust and at some point invest in the appropriate “human infrastructure” to prepare for future high-end development plans such as the Super Block and Pellissier Ranch.

Parrish left the city in May to be Covina’s City Manager. New City Manager Rod Foster, who began his tenure in December, said he has a draft copy of the audit’s results, which contain the hand-written notes of city employees.

Foster says City Attorney Dean Derleth will determine if the document will be made public or if any of its content, including the hand-written notes, will be redacted.

“I believe it should be public,” Councilman Vincent Yzaguirre said. “It would have been nice to get the final product … but I’m sure that from the perspective of managing the city it provided (Parrish) with an assessment and knowledge of how departments could benefit from additional or a decrease in staff.”

Business owner Gary Grossich, a fierce critic of Parrish, said the audit is just one example of a long line of questionable spending proposals Parrish presented to the council.

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