Recently appointed City Alderman Bill Schroder noticed something was off with the City of Marshfield’s finances but says he couldn't get a straight answer from anyone.
“When I asked for information, I had trouble getting information,” Schroder said.
That's why he wanted a state audit, but some other board members wouldn't go for it, so he decided to organize the petition drive on his own.
“We have a bad problem and we need to fix it, and nobody knows how to fix it. This is a cry for help, is what it is,” said Schroder.
After some digging, Schroder found the city lost around $500,000 in 2010, couldn't find any records for 2011, and it didn't get much better for 2012.
“So far in six months, we've lost $325,000, so it's not good,” he said.
And it gets worse. On the front page of Marshfield Mail, city officials confirm they're using about $1.36 million from a restricted, reserve account to pay the bills.
City Alderman Champ Herren was originally against the idea but now says, "When I realized how dire the city's financial situation is, I believed it would be beneficial. I don't think it was a misappropriation but a lack of financial oversight."
“Whether it was mismanagement or poor management, we need to get to the bottom, and find out where we are for sure before we can start to heal and do what we should do,” Schroder said.