Supervisors question audit proposals

By Amanda McBride The Choctaw Plaindealer

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors approved an audit proposal from Watkins, Ward & Stafford after realizing that Fortenberry & Ballard PC did not submit a proposal by the deadline.

At the beginning of the November 19 meeting, District 4 Supervisor David Carter made a motion to reconsider the motion awarding the 2012-2013 audit to Fortenberry & Ballard PC that was approved in their November 5 meeting in a 3-2 vote. District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire and District 2 Supervisor Larry McClain voted against it. District 1 Supervisor Archie Collins seconded the motion to reconsider the motion.

Carter said only one proposal was submitted in a timely manner and the other should not have been considered. In the discussion about the proposals, it was said that WWS submitted their proposal by the Sept. 15 deadline but Fortenberry & Ballard PC did not. Steve Montgomery, Chancery clerk, pulled the proposals out of a file and pulled Fortenberry’s proposal for the 2010-2011 audit year and placed it on the board table to be considered with WWS.

The board then approved to reconsider the audit and add it to the meeting’s agenda.

Later in the meeting, the board took up the audit proposals again. District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers said the board received copies of both proposals in their October 31 meeting. McIntire said Fortenberry never submitted a proposal and that’s why their representative brought one to the November 5 meeting.

In a heated argument, Chambers said the code of ethics is involved because Montgomery put a proposal from another year on the table for the board to consider. Montgomery responded by asking how it’s an ethics violation when he “inadvertently put a proposal on the table.”

McIntire added, “Bottom line, he (Montgomery) made a mistake.”

McClain made a motion to award WWS the 2012-2013 audit. McIntire called for a second but received no immediate answer. Carter then seconded the motion. The board approved the motion to award WWS the audit in a 4-1 vote. Chambers voted against it.

Supervisors hold two meetings

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors held a short meeting on November 30. District 4 Supervisor David Carter, also board vice president, led the meeting since District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire, also board president, was absent but participated via telephone.

Dannie Reed spoke during the public comment time asking the supervisors for “caution and deliberation” while considering to enter into a regional economic development district. He asked the board to “be diligent and to review the contract.” He received no response from the board during the meeting.

The board approved: -Agenda with no changes. -Interfund transfer of $20,000 from the General Fund to Fund 097-E911. -Travel for Steve Montgomery, Chancery clerk, Lillie Anderson, deputy Chancery clerk, Lori Fiebig, tax assessor/collector and Brandi Shumaker, deputy tax assessor/collector to a one day workshop on the Department of Revenue. -Payroll. -Postage request of $167 for tag renewal cards and $1,015 for tax cards by request of Lori Fiebig, tax assessor/collector. -Transfer $32,915 from the General Fund to Fund 126-Ambulance service. -Supplement agreement with C Spire for a term of two years for service.

November 19 meeting In this meeting, the supervisors approved to award the 2012-2013 audits to Watkins, Ward & Stafford after learning that Fortenberry & Ballard PC did not submit a proposal by the deadline.

Steve Montgomery, Chancery clerk, pulled a proposal from 2010-2011 from Fortenberry and submitted it to the board. After much discussion and arguments, the board approved in a 4-1 vote to award the audits to WWS since they were the only one to submit a proposal. District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers voted against it.

The board held a public hearing for the proposed fire grading districts in their November 19 meeting. Everyone attending was there in support of the districts. Establishing the grading districts is one requirement for the county volunteer fire departments to have a rating test done to help lower the fire rating in that area. A lower fire rating could possibly result in lower house insurance for citizens in that area.

One of the last topics discussed in the meeting was missing inventory. Diane Pyron, county inventory clerk, submitted a year end inventory report that included many missing items.

Some of the items included inventory for the hospital, nursing home and medical clinic that Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw cannot locate and several radios assigned to other department heads that also cannot be located at this time. The supervisors discussed with Pyron about what should be done about the missing inventory-if it should be wrote off or if the assigned departments and Pioneer should be held accountable for missing inventory. This was tabled until further notice.

The Board of Supervisors approved: -The agenda for the November 19 meeting after amending it to add the 2012-2013 audit to the agenda. -To recognize a letter from Greg Nowell, county appraiser, and to forward the letter to Quantum Choctaw Power. The letter states there is nothing legally the county can offer them to help with taxes except for a 10 year fee in lieu agreement, which they already receive. This letter came after Quantum officials asked the county for any help on taxes. -Change order correcting contract for the Airport Approach Zone Project. Marty Crowder, county engineer, recommended the change stating the final contractor cost was approximately $1,600 less than the total big project. -Final pay estimate for the contract on the Airport Approach Zone Project. These funds are mostly federal funds with the county’s portion of $20. -Pre-application to the FFA to have micro surfacing done at the airport runway, by request of Crowder. -Travel for Circuit Clerk Peggy Miller and new election commissioner Willie Mae Guillory to 2012 convention in Philadelphia on January 23-25. -To advertise the deputy Circuit clerk job opening. -For District 3 to help the Town of French Camp clean out drainage ditches. -For the county to work at Ackerman Elementary School to level the dumpster site and help with ditch on the backside of the school, at no cost to the school system. -To recognize the part-time hire of Gwen Box to fill the unused hours of the other current part-time help at Justice Court and Solid Waste office. -To accept the MDEQ Solid Waste officer grant. -The revised Solid Waste policy. -Tag for the new patrol car for the Sheriff’s Department.