Erie County's finances are a mess.
From commissioners arguing about budgets or with county departments, the red ink that continues to flow at the department of engineering services, to the latest scandal involving a treasurer's office employee stealing thousands of dollars, its becoming more evident every day that reform is needed.
Erie County treasurer JoDee Fantozz has requested the Ohio Auditor to conduct a special audit to independently determine the extent of the theft from her office.
After decades of not minding the store, it might be well worth the effort to extend that independent auditing effort across the entire county.
A state audit released less than two months ago cited the Erie County treasurer's office and some other county departments for "significant deficiencies" in the area of financial oversight.
Commissioner Bill Monaghan deserves praise for his past criticism of the county's questionable accounting, in particular at the county's department of engineering services, as well as his efforts to hire a full-time accountant to help unify monetary issues under the umbrella of finance director Pete Daniel.
Still, more oversight is clearly needed to help get Erie County's books in order and to help eliminate wasteful spending.
The way to accomplish this goal is to bring together all accounting oversight into one place, but doing this will take voluntary cooperation from all the different elected officials involved. Can we get the auditor to cooperate with the county clerk and treasurer? How about the sanitary engineer with the commissioners?
That would indeed be an event worth seeing.