September 28, 2021 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners, the County Counselor, and the County Clerk present.
Also present were the following: (some were present for a portion of the meeting, and some were present for the entire meeting)
Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. Jim seconded and all approved.
Eric Bailey had permits for Michael DelChiaro at 2122 Jayhawk. One for Jennifer Hawkins at 2283 Osage with a 3-foot extension. The next one is for Ronald Beltz at 2140 Valley and it’s a 6 foot extension. Jim made a motion to approve the application for the installation of culvert extensions with the first one at 2283 Osage Road and the second one at 2140 Valley Road. Clifton seconded and all approved. Eric stated that he had a couple of thanks yous with the first one to Denise & Bob Duncan contacted me last week and they’ve donated some equipment to the county. They donated two 90-pound jackhammers, a core drilling machine, a magnetic drill press and a bench grinder. Bob had a construction business back in the day and wanted to donate that to us. It’s very thoughtful of them and it’ll definitely help us out. I wanted to make sure and thank them. I also want to thank the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department. They found one of our street signs in one of their ditches. They returned it to our sheriff’s department and they in turn got it back to us. We’re have a little bit of trouble right now with street signs or road signs disappearing and just want to throw that out there that the cost of replacing that with the signs and all the fittings and everything that goes with it. The post is around $125.00 just for that and that doesn’t include labor and what have you. It is a burden on the tax payers and everyone else when they steal those signs. Anne Dare asked the cost of stealing signs. Eric stated that her guess of $5,000.00 might be close. Jim stated probably somewhere between $2,500.00 to $5,000.00. Lynne stated we have a lot of problems with people stealing and pushing barricades over. Eric stated that he has had them show up in the back of my truck at home before. If you know of people who have them and want to return them no questions to be asked just return them. Eric continued on stating that the bridge on 125th and Wagon just to the east the concrete deck’s been cut out, beams been replaced, concrete’s been repoured. The
Engineer came out and looked at it and suggested we weld a couple more cross braces in there so they will be doing that today and then we’ll have to look at putting guardrail up and we’ll have the project completed and opened back up. Also on 125th last week we had a box culvert collapse between Poplar and Quail. We replaced the box culvert and went ahead and inspected all of them through there and we found a couple more that are on the verge of collapsing so we are going to go ahead and dig them up and replace them. Then we will start asphalt and we’ll be replacing them this week and start asphalting next week on 125th.
Eric also stated that there are 10 windmills erected and also the September 29th we talked last week talked about closing Hwy 39. They’re not going to close Hwy 39 now. They’re going to tear the cranes down and move them across the highway on their trucks so there will be no road closing on the 29th on Hwy 39. They wanted me to pass that along as well. As far as crane crossings they have more top out crews in now and they’re moving the cranes more and more and they are following our road use agreement. We go out, if we can make it, on the crane crossings. Had no issues whatsoever on our roads, doing an outstanding job following the road use agreement and doing exactly what it says. That’s all I’ve got this week. Lynne stated he received a call from someone following up on that culvert that was plugged on state line road. Eric stated that he got a phone call last week from the sheriff somewhere between October 5th and 8th would like to have a meeting with one of you, myself, him and highway patrol to visit about oversized trucks or equipment running on a road especially the situation we’re having up on Yale Road with the haul truck. Didn’t know if you guys wanted to make a motion for one of you to be able to meet or however you want to do that if you want to be there. Probably be a good idea if one of you could. Lynne stated he didn’t mind being there since it’s on my district and there’s the roads that they’re tearing up. Jim stated that he is good with chairman going but we have signed up on some of the roads and districts too and no one enforces anything. Jim made a motion to allow Lynne Oharah to attend a meeting with public works director and sheriff regarding oversized loads. Clifton seconded and all approved.
Lynne asked for a five minute break.
Lynne made a motion to move the county counselor comment in front of Terry Sercer. Clifton seconded and all approved.
Justin Meeks stated that he needed two executive sessions. One is for attorney-client privilege. There are some contractual issues, some things happening that I need to discuss with you. We will need 7 minutes. Then I have a person matter non-elected. It is job description, job performance and possibly additional employee on that one. We can come back out and have that discussion about that additional point because that’s not necessarily an executive session but the other two issues will be a named employee. I would like for Susan Bancroft to be present with that one. Clifton Beth made a motion to go into executive session for attorney-client privilege and will return at 9:24am. Jim seconded and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session with no action. Lynne seconded and all approved. Clifton made a motion to go into executive session for non-elected personnel with the 3 commissioners, county counselor and Susan Bancroft for 10 minutes returning at 9:35am. Jim seconded and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 9:34am with no action. Jim seconded and all approved.
Justin Meeks stated that Rob Harrington needs an executive session for discussion of data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships for 7 minutes. Clifton Beth made a motion to go into executive session for financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships for 10 minutes returning at 9:45am. Including 3 commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Rob Harrington and County Counselor. Jim seconded and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 9:45am with no action. Jim seconded and all approved.
Clifton made a motion to move Public Comment up to make in next on the agenda. Jim seconded and all approved. No comment.
Clifton made a motion to move Elected Officials up on the agenda. Jim seconded and all approved. No comment.
Clifton made a motion to take a break until 10am. Jim seconded and all approved.
Lynne made a motion to resume normal session. Jim seconded and all approved.
Terry Sercer handed out copies of the audit to be discussed. Terry stated that if questions come up about the audit over the next few weeks that he would be willing to come back and answer questions, but will try to explain everything today. As usual there is the bound copy and there’s a loose letter. Take out the loose letter and we’ll start with the bound copy. Pages one and two is our audit report and that’s where we give our opinion as to whether financial statements fairly present the financial activity of the county and all the footnotes and their fairly explained information that needs to be explained in connection with the audit. If you look on pages one and two there’s a lot of verbiage there but the important thing is on page two second paragraph from the top. In our opinion the financial statement referred to above presents fairly in all material respects, the cash balances and the receipts and expenditures for the year that ended. This is an unqualified, unmodified opinion that’s the highest level opinion we can give. That means that based on our testing the balances are not materially off. Revenues were received, billed, received or in process of being received as expected and expenditures paid were for proper expenses of the county. If you look on pages three and four that’s kind of like the overview of all the funds of the county. Beginning of year cash balances, receipts, expenditures and end of year cash balances not a whole lot of differences here between the years. The good thing is you have a nice health general fund cash balance. What was so unexpected in all of my audits this year was that everybody had higher sales tax than the year before. I thought with Covid people would be staying home and not spending money but you had good sales tax collections and looks like your delinquent taxes weren’t too bad so your property taxes came in. That was a fear also that people would lose their jobs and not be able to pay but you have good healthy cash balances in the general fund and most of your funds as you can see there. The next section then, if you don’t mind, go to page nine. With the audit we give an opinion about the numbers. We also give an opinion about compliance with Kansas Statutes. We have a checklist that provided by the state says we need to make sure the entity has complied with these statutes. There are four instances of non-compliance that are on the bottom of page nine. There’s a statute that says once a warrant or check hasn’t cleared after a couple of years it needs to be cancelled and returned to the fund balance. There are some checks out there that are over two years old that need to be cancelled and added to the fund balance. If you’ll skip down to the third bullet, bank reconciliations, this is kind of a repeat we’ve had some issues with the bank reconciliations and that kind of ties in with the outstanding checks. I know you probably recall this from last year but the reconciliation is done on the computer software and there’s a big detailed report that comes out but there’s a number on it that really don’t make much sense. It really doesn’t reconcile well and so I went ahead and tried to reconcile myself using what I thought the outstanding checks were and I will say that the bank cash in bank does not agree with the cash on here. It’s off by about $76,000.00 based on my calculations. Now, lest you think where is it, I’m glad to point out it’s long. That is you have more money in your bank than that’s reflected in here. It would be a little different if it was the other way around. In this case I’m not as concerned but you need to reconcile to the bank account and $76,000.00 would be nice to add to some fund and probably going to be general fund but it’d be nice to add that to a fund rather than have it off a year from now. So it’s something we need to start looking at trying to get that reconciled. Back to the second bullet tax distributions. I’ve had comments about the tax rule for several years now too and this year I had trouble tying out the distributions and when I really dug into it I saw that one was overstated but then corrected before the end of the year the motor vehicle taxes and some of the others had been off for a few years. There’s not money missing, it’s just money that hadn’t been distributed that was collected but not distributed and some goes back three or four years and that might be going back to why I’ve had trouble the last three or four years reconciling the tax roll. This year I was off about $30,000.00 on the tax roll. Basically what that means is what the reconciliation done by the computer says collected disagreed with what was shown as collected and distributed in the current tax fund. It would be the fact that it was distributed in delinquent tax or some other fund but it was off about $30,000.00. It should be the same and we need to get to that point somewhere down the road where that reports. I think that we’ve had problems with this before that you have to run the report on a certain date in the backup on that date because you can’t go back and do it backdated. The point there was a difficulty in reconciling the tax rule but $30,000.00 out of a 10 million dollar roll isn’t that bad but we should get it closer. Then finally, quarterly statements should be published. I guess they just fell through the cracks this year with a crazy Covid year maybe. I’m not sure, but they need to be published in the county paper every three months so that needs to be done. Those are the four statutory findings we have. The next thing I’d like to go to is page 21. That’s the detail of all the funds in the county. The revenues received, expenditures paid compared to budget and that’s where you get the detail for the funds. I’d like you to go to page 65. The last ten pages of the audit this year are new because in 2020 the county received as you well know a large grant from the State of Kansas Governor’s office the cares money. The federal money for Covid relief within the county and because if an entity spends over $750,000.00 in federal money you’re required to have what’s called a single audit. That is by federal law I become a federal auditor and I have requirements the government that I must meet in order to pass the muster so to speak for the law and if you look on page 65 that’s your schedule of expenditures of federal award. You can see that you’ve always had a few little grants at the county but 2.9 million was the amount that came in for the benefit of the county and entities within the county so that triggered the single audit, the additional audit procedures and that’s what the rest of this section is from page 65 on. They are in here solely because of the single federal audit. If you look at pages 66 and 67 these deal with compliance and there’s a lot of verbiage in there but it’s required by the standards. I’m reporting on compliance with federal law, the federal laws that apply to the federal grants you received and I’ll just tell you without reading a whole book to you the pages that there’s no violations of federal law as far as compliance with grant agreements or reporting compliance for the federal law. No issues with federal compliance. Page 68 and 69 is another report which you also have to give an opinion and on a compliance with internal general internal controls and compliance so that’s what pages 68 and 69 deals with and the bottom of page 68 you can see there’s a paragraph there that where we identify what are considered significant deficiencies and internal controls and they’re 2020-001, 002, 003 and 004 and these are cited in the audit as significant deficiencies and controls. What are those four issues? Let’s swing to page 71 and you can see on page 71 the finding significant deficiencies. The first is the same as last year. That is, we basically help you draft your financial statement. In the perfect world of auditing where they send their ivory towers on the east coast and pass auditing laws they say the auditors should walk in the door and the company you’re auditing hands you pages three on and you audit it. They’re supposed to hand you this and then you do the audit. Well, that doesn’t happen here. We frequently help prepare the audited financial statements and get them prepared but if we do actually do that it’s acceptable, it’s allowed by the standards but we have to point out to you that really it’s county’s responsibility to do the statements and we audit the statements. This goes back to Enron back when the auditing firm gave Enron a clean opinion for years and then they also being paid the auditing firm was being paid by Enron to help them do this financial statements and so it’s considered a potential lack of independence if I’m auditing the work done by someone in my office and so if I’m auditing the financial statements and also have significant role in preparing them it’s called a weakness in internal controls. I think about every audit I do has that issue. There’s a handful that don’t when they have a CPA or someone very experienced in actually preparing the statements but this is very common about every one of my audits has this finding. Since it’s a federal audit it becomes a more official one because it’s in the significant deficiency section of the audit but it’s nothing new from last year. The second one 2020-002 is really another repeat from last year. The bank reconciliations, again we’re $76,000.00 long so we need to identify that and add it back to county funds so it can be used for a good purpose in the county. Nothing really new here on it so I’ll let that one go. The third one reconciliation of the tax roll again that’s a finding I had last year and it’s not off much, just a little and that’s what’s kind of frustrating you know it’s not quite to the penny so perhaps if these accounts can be distributed from the past that we talked about earlier maybe that can clear this up but that’s another repeat from last year. There is one new one this year4 and I think you all know about it. 2020-004 as you the billings for awhile were not done in the landfill not all the billings they were caught before the end of the year they missed a few months they were identified that weren’t being billed and then they were billed and some were collected by the end of the year and I think they’re still being collected in 2021 when I was here doing the audit and plus some new culverts within the county. Lots of times the county will have billings for new culverts or dust control or things but in this case I didn’t see any new culverts sold so they really should be charged unless there’s an official decision by the county commissioners to not charge it and that’s you guys call. It’s certainly an economic development to have a new culvert usually means there’s a new house but it’s you guys call on that. I think it’s just a matter of there was a transition in oversight and just make sure you oversee those billings going forward but that is a new finding from last year. The other prior three were in last year. Before we go to the last page 75 I want to make sure if there’s any questions about the four findings or the violation of statutes or the four findings. Anything not clear, any questions about them. Lynne asked how long the violations have been going on. Terry said the violations in reconciliations have been going on for three or four years. You guys can get last year’s loose now this year it’s actually in the bound audit because of the federal audit and we have to actually cite it within the audit. You know the last three or four years this letter they’re the same thing’s in there so it’s been a continuing thing. The software people perhaps they can come in and help. I know one time they did come in and then Covid hit and then they pulled off. We need to get it cleaned up. Let me say you need to get it cleaned up because this fact of the federal audit tht is you got another grant this year and I forgot how many millions you got. Lynne stated 1.45 million. Terry stated that you are going to have to have another single audit and I don’t know I’ve seen it go several ways sometimes the feds if they see a finding they say oh that’s just find you let it go but if you come back the next year and you have the same finding they can get a little more upset about it you know if you have two straight years so since you actually have this as an official finding reportable to the federal government we should do all we can to not have this finding next year. Next year being 2021 audit. I don’t know if I know that federal agencies are not quite as on top of things they were with Covid they’re really behind in monitoring things but I think we should try not to have next year the findings. Tthe preparation of financial statement is fine they accept that. Tthey know that’s an issue with preparing financials but the reconciliation tax role in the billings we need to make sure they’re cleaned up next year. Technically, they can say we’re not giving any more federal money until you clean this up. I don’t think that would happen unless you had a couple years or constant years of that happening. Clifton stated that we’ve had three or four is that what you’re saying? The last few weren’t officially reported to the federal government now that they see it officially reported they will want you to clean it up and that’s the last part of this audit that I was going to hit next after we discussed this. You have to have what’s called a correction action plan. What’s the county officially going to do to correct this so we don’t have it in the future? The last page is 75. I think it’s very important that we see this and make steps to make this happen because you don’t want to have it two years in a row. You really don’t and I think you should be able to get it cleaned up so that’s the corrective action plan drafting financial statements. I don’t think there’s anything you have to do at this time but monitor the situation. I think you’ve hired Susan now to help with the numbers. If numbers are clean next year when I come back I could probably take this off. If you’re relying on me to give your numbers that’s a weakness but if next year you guys can get the numbers from Susan and rely on them I can take that one off so this is a matter of monitoring and just making sure we can get clean numbers going forward. The bank recs and the tax roll, that’s just going to be a matter of doing it. Like I said, I worked it up and we’re long not short which is encouraging but still let’s clean it up and identify that money and give it back to the county to spend. Unless you have any questions about the bound audit we’ll go to the loose letter but I want to make sure you guys are all on board especially that corrective action plan that’s going to be important. I think part of the corrective action plan is you’re already taken steps with hiring Susan after the end of the year to monitor some of the numbers so that will certainly help. The loose letter is a letter I’ve issued every year for the last 20 years and I have to give internal control issues. The Public Works billing is a new one that we have on the top o f page two and here we’re going to cite the weaknesses and internal controls, significant deficiencies, again the public works billing just an oversight, we have the transition cleaned up now, person in charge and looking it all over and I don’t think that’s going to be a repeat but it’s something I had to cite in the audit. The next three are basically repeats from last year, bank recs, tax roll and financial statements so we’ll try to clean those up with the corrective action plan that’s in the audit but I’m required to give you this letter even if it wasn’t a federal audit I’m required to give you this letter which you’ve received every year for the last three years. It’s all pretty much straightforward from last year. I’ve had disagreements with management on page five I’m supposed to tell you starting at the end of the page I have to attach the journal entries so you guys know how many adjustments I made so you can see things I did but the rest of the verbiage is pretty straightforward and comparable to last year but if you have any questions, I know you probably hadn’t had a chance to go through it in detail, I’ll be glad to address it today or maybe in a future meeting and again I am 5-10 minutes away so I can come to another meeting. The corrective action plan is your official response that we will take this corrective action. It’s important that we do that and it’s important to clear up the findings that we don’t have them in the future. Clifton asked what are the journal entries at the end of your letter. There are various kind we’ve had to make just to clean up posting errors in the records. The first one, the commissioners at the end of the year always ask, do we transfer money into a reserve fund for example. For example the appraisers have equipment reserve and the election has an election reserve to be used for appraisers equipment and election equipment. We wait until after the audit to see how much cash and how much budget you have available to transfer without hurting the next year’s budget. That’s why that’s always done late. The G1 is to transfer money into reserve funds. The second one is required to transfer money in the motor vehicle fund into the general fund at the end of the year. It’s a required transfer by the statutes. Don’t post this unless you’ve already posted it because you don’t want to post it twice but that’s what this A1 and A2 are. A1 is last year’s motor vehicle and A2 is this years. Last year didn’t get posted. The rest are just reclassifications for example some things maybe code to other whereas I break it out to call it a grant or give it more detail rather than miscellaneous. Lots of times it’s easier just to code something miscellaneous but I like to get a little more detail. We didn’t have very much share fees identified and so I broke it out of miscellaneous and put it in an actual line item. That’s what the rest of these are just reclassification adjustments to show things a little more detail. There are some places I have literally no journal entries. Some
places I audit but this is one of the bigger audit. Bourbon County has millions of dollars going through it in a year. With more monitoring going on I think you won’t have that problem as much going forward. I think Susan looks at the numbers every month and makes journal entries. I think some years I’ve had more than this. Lynne Oharah asked Susan if she had worked on this prior to the audit or during the audit on cleaning up journal entries. Susan stated that she did quite a few. It got to a point where we were down to time. I had to have information to do the budget so I wasn’t able to look at the reconciliations. Terry stated that if there are any questions you can call me.
Lynne asked if Susan had any questions or comments. Susan stated that her biggest concern is when we start applying for grants and things like that, they always ask for your audited financial statements so that would be a concern. The other thing that we will need to look at is there are certain reports that we need to be pulling from the system that I don’t think you are getting as a governing body that probably needs to be presented every month. After reconciliations are created and there’s a process that we can put in place so that you know because if things aren’t being done timely you’re making financial decisions about purchases and you could be creating violations for yourself if things are not done timely. What I mean by that is there could be cash violations. There could be budget violations because if things aren’t being reconciled monthly you don’t really know if they have been input into the system yet and so you don’t have accurate numbers to make decisions on. That’s probably my biggest concern is for you to be making decisions you need to have very accurate information. Would you agree with that Terry? Terry stated absolutely, in fact you had that issue a couple of years ago. Remember Jim, you thought you had all that budget available but there was a posting error and at the end of the year we had a negative cash balance. The other thing is that this federal audit takes things to a different level because with the federal audit these findings are actually an official part of the audit. With it being a federal audit we’re required to actually cite it within the actual audit and Susan is right if you send financial statements to granters they’re going to see that and they’re going to say oh what’s going on here maybe I don’t want to give you a grant. That’s why it’s important to clean that up. Susan stated that our cash position isn’t in good shape. They won’t like that there’s findings but the one thing that I saw that was recurring is, and this is basic accounting for governmental entities, is when we have an expenditure it needs to go in an expense line not in a revenue line because when it’s in a revenue line you are understating your expenses and understating your revenue. Your revenue needs to come into a revenue line and your expenses need to go out of an expense line because what is happening is a lot of times we’re putting revenue in and then we’re expensing out of a revenue account. At the end of the year Terry has to go in and make all these adjustments and that is basic accounting procedures for government accounting and so we saw a lot of that going on and so those were a lot of the things that I was fixing, trying to fix, at the end of the year to get you guys caught up to speed and found some but not all as noted in the audit. Lynne stated that Jim had some problems with cash flow and knowing what his budget was for a number of years. I’ve been here seven years and I think we work together every year on this. Jim stated that it was always a struggle to pinpoint where we were at but maybe that’s not unusual in the county process. I’m confident with Susan and Patty working together we’re going to get past that. Clifton stated talking about corrective action and the fact of the matter is as county commissioners we don’t have much control over that and neither does Susan. Patty stated that she wants to work with you guys. I’ve always wanted to work with you guys. I want an open-door policy where I feel like I can come in and address things but I think it’s important as a county that we all work together and I don’t feel like we have a lot of that. I want to let you know I’ve got a new employee which I think you’re all familiar with that has plenty of experience and I’m really lucky there. It won’t be something I can keep forever but for right now Rhonda’s in there and we’re getting the bank statements reconciled. By the end of this month if not by the middle of next month we will have it all caught up and done. October 1st is a day that I’ve set aside that’ I’m doing nothing but work on the tax roll. Last year in February, CIC came in, we were all set up, we were going to get this stuff straightened out and Covid hit and this last year I have been without employees. We have been busier than ever as you can tell by the sales tax. A lot of that sales tax comes through our office because of new vehicles. Everybody bought a new vehicle, traded three or four times last year. It’s been crazy. I’m still struggling with employees. I need that employee I gave up a few years ago. I think Lynne you were the only one here when I gave up that employee and I come in here and I was going to do great things and I thought I could get by. I had a fully experienced office then and I was putting in the time working on a lot of this stuff, picking up a lot of stuff that another employee had done before and we could do that but since then I’ve lost the experienced employees. I can’t operate with what I’m operating on. I need that employee and when I gave that up you agreed this was a trial thing to see if it would work, and that was when the employee freeze was on, I could hire that employee back if I needed it. Ever since then every time I’ve tried to come in and hire an employee back it’s been a no. Lynne asked if it was in her budget this year. Patty stated I tried to put it in there but it’s my understanding it did not come through. Lynne said he didn’t know and asked if Susan saw it. Susan stated that anything Patty requested was put in. Patty stated she is down to three employees, two of them are new. It’s a struggle just doing the everyday processing and that’s what I got into last year and that’s why this suffered last year because I was trying just to get the people out of the office. We were taking millions of phone calls, we were short-handed and trying to process the taxes. I probably put in 90% of the taxes last year during December myself because we were so short-handed. We were closed down for Covid. Last year was a train wreck. I’m sorry, I’m not proud of it but this year I’m wanting to move forward. We’re working on voiding the past checks, we want to get those out of the way. I need to figure out a way to retain employees because last year I lost three employees to other departments in the county and every one of them got more money. It’s hard for me paying probably the minimum wage in the county for a full-time employee for a very stressful job that’s a skilled job. I can’t just hire somebody off the street and put them at the front desk and say here do this because there’s a million different things to learn anytime you commissioners want to come in and set, see what we do, it’s not easy, it’s stressful. They get overwhelmed and they leave. They can go anywhere for more money and a lot less stress. Lynne asked what the state pay your employees for the license tag renewals? They’re the ones that pay that fund for that challenge. Patty stated she has three of my employees coming out of that fund, but you guys are the ones that set the wages and my employees make the same as the one in the deeds office and the one in the clerk’s office. This is all stuff that I want to work with. I’m not proud of this at all but this last year I’ve spent my whole life here. I’ve been here Saturdays and Sundays and I know that’s my job. I’m not complaining. I want to work with you guys. Jim stated that I hope you’re aware that Susan had a great idea last week. We’re going to meet with all department heads and elected officials and talk about salaries so that’s coming up pretty quick. Patty stated that anything I can work with everybody on I’m more than glad to. It’s a big problem, you guys talk about my department, what’s going on without me involved or you talk about the Clerk’s department or the other departments. Call us in, we’re the ones that know what’s going on, we can tell you the problems. I’m asking for help. Does anybody have any questions for me? Lynne stated that our departments need to be working with Susan because she is the Financial Director and she has the experience to help. Patty stated that she is up for anything, any suggestions Susan has, anything we can do. I’m always ready to learn and to work on this. Lynne asked if Clifton had any comments. Clifton stated that we have to get this fixed if that’s going to affect our grants. We have millions of dollars in danger. Lynne stated that we put in for four bonds again and we get our S & P rating, they ask for this document, and they will be asking questions especially when they see that there’s repeat stuff going on so we have to be careful. Patty stated she understands and wants to get it cleaned up. This is not acceptable to me either but I need help to do it because I need the employees. I can’t do it with what I’m doing now, something has to suffer and last year unfortunately, the wrong thing suffered because I was doing what was coming in the door, if the phone was ringing, everything. This year you’re going to have the public complaining because when they come in here to the office and I’m working on something else, Rhonda is working on something else. Without the extra employee that suffers. Lynne stated that Susan is temporarily our HR Director so we’re doing exit interviews and she’s also on the team to hire new employees. Jim asked if it would be a good idea for us to meet in 30 days and Susan and Patty tell us how we’re moving forward to clear these deficiencies up. We have to make sure we have a plan, we’re on the same page because these need to go away for our grants and everything else. So, I’d like to see a group meeting work session. We can meet in a few weeks and between the two of you can explain to us how we’re going to fix them. Patty stated to Susan that any suggestions you have or if you question something. I know there are certain things in my office that are my strong points and there’s certain things that I’m weak at and I want to get stronger at everything . Lynne asked if Susan had any more comments. She had nothing. Lynne asked if commissioners had any comments. Jim stated that he feels we are heading the right direction between Susan and Patty and we all work together, it’s a work session to see if we can resolve some of these issues and we have to, we don’t have a choice. One way or another we’ve got to resolve them. Lynne stated that when Susan first came in to fix some of these problems but she ran out of time. We had to stop what we were doing so the audit could start. Susan stated that there is a fine line that I walk because I really am here to just kind of point out errors or deficiencies. I should not be in there making journal entries. That is the treasurer’s job. I have offered to help because I am familiar with CIC. I think my biggest concern is it’s October and we’re probably going to have to go back to January and start evaluating again to see if we have truly reconciled, but we can get a plan in place to make that work. Lynne stated that he thinks we have a plan in place. Clifton stated that it’s just repeat, repeat, repeat over and over. It’s got to be fixed. Lynne stated that since Jim and I worked so close together over the years we struggled through the last few years. It’s tough when you have to say in August stop spending because we don’t know where we are at it’s really difficult. I’m really excited to get this done where our people can get in and do what they need to do. In all fairness to the department heads and elected officials they need to have a true reporting system for their budgets to understand. For Eric when he asks can I move forward with this road program or not, we stopped just because we didn’t know. Susan stated that I’ve looked at some of the reports that were given to the department heads in the past and those are not good reports. They don’t give you enough information. There are two very specific reports that I would like to implement. I’m giving to the department heads that give you all the detail of what’s happened in every account and every department head should go through those with a fine tooth comb because if you’ve got money coming into an expense line that is a problem. There needs to be a journal entry created because that’s not where it belongs. That’s where I really need to sit down with all the department heads and say this is what you need to be looking for. Jim stated that either part of the report or attach to the report expenditures and cash. Susan stated there is one report called an account status listing. That gives you at the very top of the report a breakdown of your cash and then it gives you your budgeted line items and then it tells you where you are for the year and none of those reports were ever given to department heads. It’s an easy fix to do that part of it but again if things are not being reconciled monthly and you know we have accurate numbers to work off of that’s the concern. You could have budget violations, you would probably more likely have a cash violation than a budget violation but the cash violation is a citing in an audit. Jim stated as Terry mentioned, two to three years ago we thought we had money in there, we continued our road program and we didn’t have it. Lynne stated we had to work to squeeze every penny out of every account. Susan stated that we had to move some things around this year too just to make ends meet and make sure that we were following all of our cash.
At 11:03, Jim made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Clifton second and all approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman
(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner
(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk
October 5, 2021, Approved Date