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City Finance Director Jim Mahoney

A top North American finance group last week honored the city of Palestine for excellence in financial reporting.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada on Nov. 19 presented city leaders with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award. Palestine was last recognized by the GFOA in 2012.

City Manager Leslie Cloer told the Herald-Press Tuesday she is pleased, but not surprised, by the win.

“I am truly pleased with the dedication to transparency our finance staff has been working to provide,” she said. “It takes a lot of work from multiple city employees. I am proud of all our city employees who were involved in helping Palestine receive this recognition.”

In addition to the city's award, Finance Director Jim Mahoney personally received an award for Financial Reporting Achievement.

Mahoney told the Herald-Press it's satisfying when hard work pays off.

“The Government Finance Officers Association is a great organization, with very high expectations for its members,” he said. “I am happy the City of Palestine has reached the level of excellence expected once again, and I plan on us staying here for a long time.”

The award follows months of additional, budget-related city council meetings, late night financial reviews, and efforts to keep residents informed about their tax dollars are spent.

The GFOA award is considered the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting; to win demonstrates a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

Founded in 1906, the GFOA represents public finance officials throughout North America. The more than 20,000 GFOA members are federal, state/provincial, and local finance officials committed to excellence in public finance.

Judged by an impartial panel, any government considered for the certificate of achievement must adhere to the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a “spirit of full disclosure,” in its financial reporting.

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