The Shomron Regional Council reached a new milestone Wednesday, when it received a reward from the Interior Ministry for the tenth year in a row for proper financial management. The award was given to Shomron Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika, along with treasurer Josh Goldsmith .
Ten other regional authorities throughout Judea and Samaria also received awards for proper financial management. Among them were the Gush Etzion Regional Council, the Binyamin Regional Council, the city of Beit El, the city of Hevron, and the city of Beit Aryeh.
Regional council heads across Judea and Samaria welcomed the good news, noting that the move shows the integrity of the councils' financial branches -- despite accusations to the contrary by far-left groups. Finance Minister Yair Lapid made headlines earlier this month when he cut funds to Judea and Samaria, citing concerns that funds were being handled illegally by Judea and Samaria's regional councils.
Many mainstream cities in Israel did not make the stringent criteria for the award -- which include keeping meticulous financial records, coordinating with the neighboring Palestinian Authority over financial issues, and collecting municipal property tax according to a certain percentage of the budget.
"This award is very meaningful for the Shomron Regional Council," Mesika stated after the ceremony, "and constitutes an expression of our commitment to excellence, our care in maintaining a balanced budget, and our ability to increase that budget to better the services we provide to residents." He added that the award also stands as a testimony to the Council's "transparency and proper financial administration."
"The Proper Management Award is a significant achievement, mainly due to the government's recent budget cuts in citizen services," Goldsmith added."Yet not only the services provided to the residents council were not affected or decreased their level and quality, but also significantly improved in many aspects."