Here is the WFPL story on the audit.

Here is the audit (PDF)

Here is the summary (DOC)

Metro Councilman Kelly Downard says there’s not enough time to fix the weaknesses highlighted in the audit, instead, he says it will be up to the next mayor.

Jim King and Tyler Allen have spoken out already, and more candidates will likely weigh in soon. This will become a campaign issue. The audit could play to King and Hal Heiner, who have worked on transparency legislation in the council. It could also boost candidates who have built reputations as activists, if they handle it right.

David Tandy may take more heat now for his visit he paid to Cordish headquarters last year. The loan given to Cordish is mentioned in the audit, and Tandy has been criticized for not doing enough to get details on how the money was spent in 4th Street Live. Tandy, however, was president of the council last year when transparency legislation passed.

What the audit may do, though, is take some heat off of the next mayor, whoever that is. Here’s an excerpt from a recent WFPL story:

…most know Abramson best as the affable cheerleader for the city. The mayor who has held hundreds of ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings. Owen says he hasn’t seen any of the candidates demonstrate Abramson’s ability to generate enthusiasm in the face of good and bad times, and that talent shouldn’t be overlooked.

“I worry sometimes that the candidates don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, if they’re going to be daily compared, in the first months of their term, to Jerry Abramson,” says Owen. “I’d say for the first year there’s always going to be “Where’s Jerry?””

A new leader can use changes in Metro Government employees and practices to signal a fresh start, and that could stave off comparisons, be they to positive or negative events of the last 7 years.

Many of the weaknesses highlighted in the audit–those tied to poor management–seem like symptoms of an administration that has been in power for a long time. In the WFPL story on the audit, Kelly Downard says he doesn’t think there’s actual malice behind the problems. But with the same leadership in place for years, underqualified employees move up over time and if they aren’t trained properly, then problems like this arise. If the audit doesn’t turn into major campaign fodder, it may serve as a lesson in leadership for the next mayor.