Macon County Chronicle

$739,127 Error Found in County Fund Balance

It was good news to some and disturbing news to others.  Macon County Mayor Shelvy Linville announced at the November 2nd County Commissioners Committee of the Whole meeting that budget information had been sent recently to his Administrative Assistant Tammy Russell and while proofreading, she discovered a $739,127 error “in the figures” in the county’s favor for the 2007-2008 year.  Reportedly the beginning fund balance for 2006-2007 was used by the software, rather then the 07-08 balance. Following this announcement, Linville presented University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) consultants Ben Rodgers and Robin Roberts, who reported the fund balance had reverted back to 06-07.

Rodgers remarked, “There is no blame to be dealt out to anyone,” further explaining that the comptrollers office was behind, and that they didn’t get the audit until a year after the year was over.

“I would have voted for the budget if I has known this,” said Pro-Tem Chairman Commissioner Billy Bransford.

Rodgers remarked, “It’s nobody fault,” and explained that the audit came in so late that there was no way to know.

The audit conducted by the Comptroller of the Treasury -  Department of Audit for year-ending June 30, 2008, sent to the mayor and the board of county commissioners was dated June 8, 2009. The audit summary stated, “The audit did not disclose any instances of nonconformance that are material to the financial statements.”  

Linville admitted at the meeting, that although it was good news, that, “It was a little troubling to me that it could happen,” having $739,000 and not knowing.

“What if it had been the other way?” asked Commissioner Helen Hesson, and Rodgers remarked that it had happened before in another county.

Following the announcement Linville inquired, “How do you all feel about the county employees sharing in the good fortune?” After discussion on the possibilities of giving county employees, minus teachers, a bonus, Mayor Linville offered to get some figures together.

EMS Director Randall Kirby presented the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 First Quarter Report and told commissioners that they had received notification that they would be awarded $80,000 toward a new ambulance in 2011 and expressed hope for continuing to receive grants for new ambulances.

Keith Scruggs appeared, requesting the Ray Jones Circle be reopened, explaining that at the time of the public hearing his aunt, a property owner affected, was away in Florida. “Four people have a vested interest, three don’t want it closed,” said Scruggs.

Following this, a suggestion was made by Commissioner Phillip Snow to post notices on the perimeter of the land affected by such a change.

Other business moved forward to the Legislative Body Meeting:

·      Kirby explained that the ambulance committee discussed proposed inflation from the Center for Medicare Services and recommended three percent increases in rates, which the county agreed to.

·      West Macon County Rescue Squad’s Captain Thomas O’Saile continued discussion with commissioners presenting bids for striping and lettering, but having to hold up on the work until it is approved by the Legislative Body. 

·      Candidates vying for 14th District Commissioner are Michael Evetts and Ron Morey, with the Commission to vote on November 16th.

·      MCSD Detective Bill Cothron addressed commissioners, announcing he would soon be deploying and requested permission to continue a paycheck until unused vacation and other paid benefits are expired. Commissioners voted to make this allowance to anyone that mightbe in the same circumstances.

·      A resolution was moved forward in support of requesting a delay in the implementation of the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act, which requires all Tennessee counties to use optical scan voting machines and paper ballots no later than November 2010 elections.

·      A 2010 Census Partner resolution was sent on to the full body affirming support to attain an accurate count, of goals and ideals, which would encourage people in the county to participate in events and initiatives to raise awareness.