Manhattan Borough President and City Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer announced a plan to create a Sandy Audit Bureau within the Comptroller’s office if elected.
The Sandy unit, a team of “professionals and experts,” would track the incoming $15 billion in federal aid and ensure the post-storm recovery money is spent “wisely and efficiently.”
Stringer said when that amount of money comes in, there must be a “laser focus on every single dollar.”
“Nine months after Sandy, the winds have subsided but we still have to confront the challenge of protecting our shoreline communities from the next great storm,” Stringer said. “The Comptroller’s office is uniquely positioned to serve as the city’s watchdog over all Sandy-related funds.”
Furthermore, Stringer plans to provide an online resource, The Sandy Tracker, that will allow residents to follow how the city is spending storm-related dollars. In the event of fraud or abuse, there will be an established 24-hour hotline for taxpayers to report any instances of the sort.
“Since Sandy, the Rockaways has seen an increased flow of resources dedicated to addressing post-storm issues,” said State Senator James Sanders. “Merely having these resources, however, is not enough. There needs to be a system of accountability.”
Sanders, Councilmember Donovan Richards and Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder joined Stringer during his announcement on Tuesday, August 6 and reiterated their endorsements for Stringer’s candidacy.
“Every penny that was raised for Sandy victims and every government dollar that was spent during the relief and recovery effort must be accounted for,” Goldfeder said.
Richards said his constituents simply want “a hand up, not a hand out.”
“This is a common sense bureau,” he said. “During our recovery, accountability and transparency are extremely important.”