ST. CLOUD -- State Auditor Julie Blaha made a stop at St. Cloud City Hall Thursday as part of her statewide "State of Main Street Listening Tour."

During the 90-minute session, Blaha presented information on statewide financial trends found in her office's most recent city, county and township reports. The reports, which compile 20 years of data, focus on revenue, expenditures, reserves, debt and state aid.

Blaha says the tour is her chance to hear from local leaders, who she says "live and breathe these numbers every day."

"When you see a pile of graphs and tables, it's hard to make sense of it," Blaha says. "So, we decided to go around the state and focus on people who know what these numbers mean. Without context, numbers aren't helpful. We want to give the stories behind the numbers so people can make better decisions."

St. Cloud's listening session featured a panel discussion with Stearns County Administrator Mike Williams, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis and Stearns County Commissioner Tarryl Clark. Each panel member brings a unique perspective, Blaha says.

"It's pretty clear to me that local government officials are working really hard to keep things stable - and I would say our numbers show they've had a lot of success in that. I know it isn't easy. So, what I want to know is, how are they doing that?"

Blaha is in her first term as State Auditor. She and her team will head to Duluth next week.

For more, visit the State Auditor's website.

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