Audit, board vacancy issues facing Fire District No. 11 directors
by Clarke Davis
It was once agreed among Fire District No. 11 board members to have an audit conducted at least once every five years. There is now going to be a change in the treasurer and some feel it is time for that audit.
“We need an audit for my peace of mind and for the peace of mind of the taxpayers,” said Mary Jane Burns at the last meeting March 8.
Treasurer Phil Gordon resigned last fall and moved to Kansas City, Mo. He is now in the process of returning the financial records to the district, but they are not complete.
Fire Chief John Gordon told the board members that they have all the papers but Phil Gordon, his brother, still has some work to do to upload some information in the computer and that it will take a few weeks.
In regard to the financial records, the chief said, “I think we’re pretty straight.”
Chairman Charles “Butch” Wyn-koop is worried about properly accounting for the tax money and has no hesitation about ordering an audit.
“We have to!” he said.
The chairman said that thumbing through some of the financial papers is what he does when he can’t sleep but none of it makes much sense. He told the paper that he hasn’t seen a financial report of any quality for months.
Board member Mark Boyce appears to agree with Burns and Wyn-koop but member Bill Klenklen is stalling.
The price tag of $5,000 is steep and Klenklen believes the district should wait and budget for it to occur next year.
There is a vacancy in the fifth seat that has been filled by John Franco, a Nortonville resident, the past two months but Wynkoop will not recognize a nonresident on the board.
Franco, the board was told, represents the firefighters but there were no introductions when he took his place at the table.
Burns asked him where he resided and Franco appeared to take offense and replied, “What difference does that make?”
The chairman said he would not approve any minutes of the meeting that record Franco’s votes.
“We can’t have a resident from another district making decisions about spending tax money in this district,” Wynkoop added.
There is some confusion about what role the county commissioners play in appointing board members. The bylaws indicate the at large position, the one held by Wynkoop, requires commission approval, but the chairman said he thinks that has been overlooked in regards to himself. No one is sure if the commission has to approve those appointed to the board by the township, city, medics, and firefighters.
Besides ordering an audit, the board also needs to acquire a treasurer. Wynkoop now believes that should be a paid position and someone not on the board.
Burns said the district has never been audited by a certified public accountant, although there have been a couple of internal audits assisted by local accountants. She said the board minutes reflect in 2008 the board agreed to conduct a true audit every five years.
The fire district board meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the fire station.
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