Oversight for the Taxpayer
Orlando Sanchez will make the Controller’s office Independent of the Mayor and City Council. It’s important that the City Controller be free from political conflicts. The current Controller seldom challenges the status quo and simply rubber stamps the budget and out of control spending. Sanchez will answer to the taxpayer, not City Hall insiders.
Orlando Sanchez will perform meaningful audits. In 4 years, the Controller has conducted only 26 audits, a measly 6.5 audits per year, and 8 “follow-up” reports on audits already issued. At least 2 of the audits were outsourced, at considerable expense to the taxpayers, to contractors that seemingly have no experience in the areas audited. An audit of Drainage and Street Repair Funds, outsourced to a third party, found no issues at all. How could that be when it is well reported by local press that our streets are in terrible shape and filled with pot holes?
Orlando Sanchez will conduct audits using highly qualified professionals who can make meaningful recommendations to save taxpayers money and ensure that our infrastructure money is efficiently spent. He will make sure the Drainage Fee will finally be used as intended – to fund drainage projects!
Fraud and Abusive Spending
Orlando Sanchez will find waste and abuse in major programs to help save taxpayer money. During the tenure of the current City Controller, he has failed to independently investigate or review a single department for significant cost savings and operational efficiencies.
Orlando Sanchez will independently investigate all TIRZs to ensure funds are not being wasted. He will investigate spending on the new multimillion dollar bus line being built in the Galleria to serve a few wealthy business interests. He will investigate the closing of major bus lines that are critical for working class taxpayers. He will investigate all potential conflicts of interest and demand that Houston City Property taxes are being spent wisely and efficiently.
Orlando Sanchez will investigate all Harvey flood relief programs to find out why those most affected have been left to suffer. The Controller has completely neglected his role as public advocate during the Harvey recovery. While the Mayor’s friends and supporters are awarded rich multimillion dollar contracts, working families and seniors are left with damaged homes, leaky roofs and little hope for the relief they deserve and were promised. Funds have been sent to Houston’s coffers. It has been two years since Hurricane Harvey! Orlando Sanchez will find that money and ensure it gets distributed as promised.
Shining a Light on the City’s Finances
Orlando Sanchez will open up the City’s books for full disclosure to the taxpayers. Under his leadership as Treasurer, the Harris County Treasurer’s Office won several major governmental transparency awards including two Sunshine Review Sunny Awards for transparency in 2010 and 2011 and achieved Platinum Level in the Texas State Comptroller’s Leadership Circle for Transparency in Local Government Reporting. The current Controller’s reporting has been limited to release of the outside audits 6 months after the end of the fiscal year with no analysis, and one page monthly reports issued to City Council that mirror reports issued by the Finance Department.
Our current Controller has been playing politics with the Mayor in hopes of getting support for his own Mayoral race. Orlando Sanchez will be an independent friend of the taxpayer, shining the light on abusive spending.
Orlando Sanchez will open up City Hall for all taxpayers to see what’s really going on.