2008-10-04 / Editorials & Letters

Watchdog: 'You don't have to read it…'

Editor:

First to respond to Sean Ahern who feels that I have "inflicted over 700 words worth of this tripe on your readers:" The wonderful thing about the Beacon and their policy of "preferring letters of 250 words or less" is that they extend the same courtesy of 250+ words to ANYONE. The wonderful thing about our freedom is… YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ IT!

Here's something interesting for you to read...or not:

The audit for the Village of Kirkersville is completed. They made the following recommendations:

• Travel/Reimbursement Policy-"Failure to have a formal policy in place results in the village's exposure to risk of reimbursement for unauthorized or inappropriate travel expenses. The village should implement a formal policy regarding its travel reimbursements to mitigate these risks." (I believe this is referring to 2 GOB's (Good Ole' Boys) who went out of state to pick up a police cruiser. One GOB is on permanent disability but was able to drive hundreds of miles for the village...and, essentially, got paid for it.)

• Credit Card Policy - Flying J Gas Cards - "The village does not have a credit card policy detailing allowable purchases and items that may not be proper public purpose. The village should implement a thorough credit card policy detailing this information and require detailed receipts to support all purchases made."

• Petty Cash/Change Funds - "The village currently does not have a policy in place to track the use of petty cash funds for the departments allotted by council. The village should adopt a written policy and procedures (manual) to track the receipt and disbursement of petty cash funds at each department and require detailed receipts for expenditures from the departments prior to the Fiscal Officer replenishing funds. This will help ensure that petty cash monies are being used for a proper public purpose." (A former clerk used the petty cash monies for cigarettes, fast food and other personal items.)

• Policy and Procedures Manual - "It was noted during this audit that the Village does not maintain an accounting policy and procedures manual. The Village should draft and approve a manual detailing all functions of the fiscal officer, including Utilities Billing and Mayor's Court. This manual should also include how to complete a purchase order, record receipts, process payroll, etc. It should also include policies approved by council which affect the operations of the fiscal department. This would provide the village with pertinent information in the case of an unforeseen absence of a current employee or in the case of a new employee.

ALL of the above recommendations have been noted in the past few years. I was part of the council that put these recommended policies in place via ordinances. In 2004, Bennie Evans and the administration at that time (which included former council member, current GOB Bill Harper) repealed ALL of the Ordinances that created checks and balances, policies and procedures to protect the village.

Also of interest is the fact that the auditor found that the Village Clerk, Johnny (Bob) Adkins "was using a rubber stamp signature to sign village checks" which is "expressly prohibited" by the Ohio Revised Code.

The August Flying J bill had two purchases totaling $118.13. The Village Clerk, Bob Adkins, says that the receipts for these purchases were not turned in by the previous interim chief Chris Martin and they are "looking for them."

In the previous administration, the spending effect was that of a runaway train and Bennie Evans' hand was on the throttle of that train. They threw out all the rules and ignored all the recommendations from prior audits. Now Evans is crying that Kirkersville can't afford to hire a Fiscal Officer. I believe they can't afford NOT to. I think it's time that Evans and a couple of other GOBs concede that their ride may soon be over.

Bonnie Mansfield Buckeye Lake

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