In a letter sent to Hervé Maurey by the departmental director of public finance, the accountant claims that he has not made any comments on the financial situation of the municipality. Observations that were reported by Marie-Lyne Vagner, the current mayor, during the presentation of the financial review of the City in December 2021.
On December 16, 2021, the presentation of the financial analysis of the Municipality of Bernay highlighted a more than critical situation for the municipality. During this public meeting, the mayor, Marie-Lyne Vagner, made disconcerting remarks about this financial situation. A situation that would be the result of long-standing mismanagement, while spelling out “make a statement but don’t attack anyone and I don’t want to create controversy”. In particular, he indicated that Bernay’s current accountant had specified it “This situation has been going on since 2005”.
The accounting officer disputes these observations
Subsequently, Hervé Maurey, senator of Eure and former mayor of Bernay, had written to the departmental directorate of public finance, bringing to the attention of the editorial staff the response received from Jean-Bertrand Biguey, interim director of the Eure.
In this letter of January 10, 2022 it is written: “In the present case and by the witnesses, the auditor of a local authority is bound by the obligation of professional discretion in relation to all the facts, documents or information of which he becomes aware in the exercise of his functions, as well as to respect for professional secrecy when the information is of a secret nature pursuant to the law. In this context, Bernay’s accountant firmly confirmed to me that he had never formulated these reported observations, which would also be contrary to the obligation of professional discretion to which he is bound. “
The mayor holds his position
Faced with this letter, Marie-Lyne Vagner reacts and keeps her words, Court of Auditors reports from 2011 and 2017 in support: “I don’t want to put the accountant in crisis, but since 2005 the cash flow has been tight. He said so, and it is a fact confirmed by the Court of Auditors. The municipality has a debt of forty years in the period 2007 and 2008. The self-financing capacity is negative over the entire period, and the municipality does not generate sufficient self-financing to cover the capital income of its debt. Maybe I shouldn’t have said it publicly, but I say things because they are true. “, insists the municipal councilor, who had received the accountant in his office on December 9, 2021 following a letter regarding the note on the municipality’s financial and fiscal 2020 evaluation. It was at that moment that he would make the remarks in question.
In this letter, the accountant wrote that the level of overheads, which rose sharply in 2020 compared to 2019, was more under control in 2021, but that the Municipality should “Provide the means to pay off its still very high loan repayments until the debt is fully written off.” And to specify: “This observation is not new, and derives from the situation of a central city in an economically difficult sector. “
“If we don’t have to talk about it, why are they writing to us? Furthermore, the accounts are public, it is contradictory “slips Marie-Lyne Vagner who, “for reasons of transparency”will present a public analysis of the last year’s accounts each year.
The reaction of Hervé Maurey
“This letter confirms that Madame Vagner is lying. Also, you lie about many things: when you try to pin the situation you are responsible for to your predecessors, when you say you are 100% mayor, and you know very well that you will raise your taxes. For a senior public finance official to put it in writing is significant. I would like to remind you that during my tenure I have not raised taxes and that the debt has stabilized. The situation got worse because he spent so much. If we run out of money, we do nothing. I would like you to take responsibility for his actions. It is extremely bad to say that the budget was not sincere (sic). “