Polk discusses requiring fire/rescue auditsPublished 11:29pm Sunday, March 31, 2013
Gasperson asked other commissioners how they respond when the county has different organizations asking for increased tax rates.
Commissioner chair Michael Gage asked Hughes what is law?
Hughes said the county is required to be an oversight but is not required to have an audit.
“We have to be assured that the funds are being spent according to the purpose,” Hughes said.
Hughes also said the county’s oversight is not so much over the fire departments because they have districts but the county does have oversight for the rescue squad.
Commissioner Tom Pack said he was a little confused because last year during budget discussions, he and commissioner Ted Owens tried to get the county to have audits, or pay for the departments’ audits and Gasperson was opposed to it.
Gasperson responded he was never opposed to it. Owens said he has to agree with Pack.
He said he and Pack tried to get a lot of things done last year (when Owens and Pack were the minority on the board) and all of a sudden the same things come up this year.
Owens also said the county has a tax commission commissioners appoint and they are the committee that should audit their fire departments. The finance office also looks at it so Owens said he doesn’t know what else the county needs.
Saluda Fire Chief Shane Bradley said audits are a big expense and he would hate to go to the citizens and ask for an increase just for audits.
“We’ve had them in the past and since budgets have gotten so tight we have an outside accountant,” Bradley said. “I’d hate to see us ask for an increase just to ask for an audit.”
Commissioner Keith Holbert asked Bradley if there has ever been any money missing when an accountant looked at their books and if he knows of any other departments having money missing.
Bradley said no on his department and not to his knowledge for any other department.
Holbert has placed fire audits on the agenda for tonight’s commissioner meeting which begins at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Womack building in Columbus.