Audit committee squashed for second month

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Discussion about the creation of an audit committee made an appearance on the county commission’s agenda for a second month in a row.

After failing to gain enough support for the action during the July meeting Commissioner Tom Hatmaker decided to try his luck again on Monday night.

Following Hatmaker’s reintroduction of the motion Commission Steve Rutherford questioned the need for such a committee.

“Don’t all departments get an audit every year?” Rutherford asked.

In response to Rutherford’s observation, Jeff Marlow, finance director, confirmed that individual audits of each department are performed on a yearly basis.

Hatmaker discounted the effectiveness of the yearly audit arguing that the establishment of a county audit committee would be much more successful in catching fraud and mismanagement in county offices.

“The audits are nothing more than a sampling of the books,” Hatmaker said.

Continuing to question Hatmaker’s logic for wanting the committee that could potentially require more expense for the county in personnel Commissioner Alvin Evan’s also weighed in.

“Has there been a problem before that would cause us to need this?” Evans asked.

Hatmaker again pointed the Campbell County/Lonas Young Memorial Park project as his example for how he feels county money has been mismanaged at times.

Despite being told by Marlow and more than one commissioner that the full commission had approved every expenditure for the project, Hatmaker continue to fixate on the fact that the project had grown from around $200,000 to more than $700,000 without a single change order.

During Monday’s debate Commissioner Rusty Orick also pointed out that the current commission had voted yes on a $200,000 budget amendment for the park not long after the election.

Commissioner David Adkins also raised the issue of such a committee could potentially have a negative on elected office holders.

Following the discussion Hatmaker’s motion failed in a 7-8 vote.