(St. Louis ~ On November 20, 2023, St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green spoke out in response to recent articles concerning her office. She began by emphasizing the most important job of the Comptroller, which is to guard the city's credit rating and protect its tax dollars. This year, St. Louis has achieved an A+ credit rating with Standard and Poor's and two credit rating upgrades in May and September 2023, giving it an A rating with all three credit rating agencies. The city also ended the fiscal year with a $71.4 million dollar operating balance. Additionally, Green's office was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

Green expressed her disappointment that the articles had focused on disgruntled former employees, anonymous employees, and political naysayers while overlooking her office's excellent job protecting the financial reputation and security of St. Louis' fiscal affairs. She also addressed her work schedule, noting that she is known to work hands-on every day including some weekends and is available both remotely and in-office.

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Green discussed how city government wages are not as competitive as those in the private sector, making it difficult to hire trained financial specialists. She also highlighted her commitment to lifting people up by promoting many career employees over the years and hiring over 30 new employees in recent months.

The transition to a new accounting system was complicated by coming online during the pandemic when in-person training was not available initially from the vendor but only training videos and ZOOM sessions were offered instead. In response to this issue, Green commissioned a report last fall which validated her concerns about user-friendliness of the system; she mentioned this report during an aldermanic budget hearing which was mentioned in one of the articles about her office.

Finally, Green clarified that while she voted for selection of a new system during a former administration, she has since voiced concerns about it; however these statements were mischaracterized as false or hypocritical which they are not according to Green who believes they are true.

In conclusion, Green reaffirmed her commitment to being a watchdog over St. Louis' tax dollars and working every day to ensure its financial security is maintained despite any criticism or mischaracterization of her statements or work schedule.

Filed Under: Government, City

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