Salted with Sharks

Council to Review Corrective Action Plan for Village Internal Controls, Policies and Procedures Tonight

In Community Alert, Gov't Watch, Village Money Situation on January 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm

By Emily Votruba

Former Benzie County administrator Chris Olson, who was engaged by the Village Board of Trustees to help them create both a deficit elimination plan and an internal controls action plan as required by the State of Michigan, has come up with a corrective action plan (CAP) for the board to review tonight.

The deadline for submitting this CAP to the state is January 22, so council hopes to make a decision on this draft tonight so as to avoid another special meeting. Newly appointed president pro tempore Robin Rommell will preside over the meeting; Reggie Manville will be absent tonight, as will Diane Jenks. A workshop session prior to the meeting was held this afternoon with members of the CAP committee and Chris Olson.

The draft document below was sent to the Alert by trustee Jennifer Wilkins. In his email today to members of the board, Olson wrote: 

 “I do not believe that Council will be in a position to address each and every full policy as Treasury requires.  But recall, that Treasury is requiring that the Village have a plan to put these policies/practices into place. There are 15 items, some of them easy, some of them significant. I believe it is necessary to show progress towards this, and also to debate the merits….”
Olson went on to suggest tackling the “easy” topics first in order to “build momentum.”
“There are decision points to make as it regards staff discretion on budget amendments/adjustments, the volume of policy that is needed for Elberta, as well as the Council’s preference.  For example, in the MML’s ethics handbook, the recommendation is that a reasonable timetable for debate for such a policy/ordinance is a full year.  While Elberta does not have that long, it is not reasonable for Treasury to expect you to not fully explore a policy that could have a large impact.”
  1. Any chance the state could assist by extending their financial accounting software to Elberta? GL, AP, AR, Purchasing, etc? Build the approval process in to the system?

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