City Auditor Was Snubbed 

To: City Council President Charles Samuels

I must express to you my bitter disappointment as to your decision to withhold the announcement of Mr. Umesh Dalal's office receiving an award for being one of 11 best-such operations in all of North America. This, it seems to me, is a fairly major achievement for his office and should have been publicly acknowledged, immediately, no question. I should not have had to find this out in Style as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.

That you did so with respect to only one negative vote, coming from a council member who is obviously a dedicated ally of Mayor Jones, is doubly suspect and smells of political cowardice. It is obvious that the mayor is not a fan of Mr. Dalal's. That is because Mr. Dalal does not shrink from exposing those areas in Richmond's finances which are suspect, even if or when the facts cross purposes with Mayor Jones' desires.

Style says this about several recent audits conducted by Mr. Dalal: "None has shed an especially positive light on the administration of Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones." Is it any wonder that his special ally would be the one to dissent? I think not. Mr. Dalal is one of the few honest voices in Richmond's government and should be treated with commensurate respect. He doesn't "cotton" to one faction vs. another, and this is probably very much behind the award.

If there was only one dissenting vote then there must have been eight votes of approval. Why wasn't the will of the majority recognized and acknowledged so as to honor this honorable man, and his office? The facetious reasoning given by Councilwoman Mosby as to high turnover in the office has no bearing whatsoever, and is obvious political obfuscation and nothing more.

Mr. Dalal is a shining light focused on the appropriate usage of our citizens' tax monies.

F. Cary Jackson, III



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