SOUTH FORK— On July 25, the South Fork Town Board listened to a brief presentation by Wall, Smith and Bateman representative Amanda Hensley. Hensley began by distributing the annual audit report and asking the board to turn to the first page, where they would be able to follow the presentation. Hensley pointed out that the audit was done as a materially correct, unmodified opinion by her firm and that South Fork finances were exactly where they should be according to their analyst. “Things are looking good; Amanda and Tom are doing a good job and the town is where you want it to be,” stated Hensley.
The presentation continued as Hensley walked the board through the rest of the packet. At intervals throughout the presentation, Hensley stopped to point out that if the town did not have the tax revenue that it did, it would not be able to survive. Hensley explained that without the tax revenue, South Fork would in fact be almost half a million dollars in the hole, rather than breaking even. “This is common for most municipalities. Governments rely on taxes to stay afloat,” continued Hensley.
The only change that occurred this year in the audit from previous years, was additions to the town’s assets. Earlier in the spring, the town opted to purchase a new tractor and used funding from the conservation trust fund to restore the pickle ball court. Hensley stated that this was one area that had to be fixed because funds from the general fund had to be used to pay back the conservation fund, but besides that there had been only minor fixes.
At the end of the packet, there were additional journal entries that have to be included in the audit. Hensley pointed out that there was a material weakness that had to be noted by law, but that is was typical of small towns. “It is hard to segregate financial duties and therefore makes internal control a weak point,” said Hensley.
Hensley continued to explain that because there was such a small number of staff and town board members that it is difficult to spread out the financial control among those in a position of trust. Hensley also stated many times that staff members had done a very good job of keeping a diverse schedule of who handled what financial responsibility and that she hoped the trend would continue with the new town manager.
The town board thanked Hensley for her presentation and moved on to the next topic which was a resolution accepting the resignation of current Manager Tom Acre. Acre explained that it was common for the board to pass a resolution accepting a resignation and continued by reading the document out loud. Resolution 2017-12 stated that Acre would be resigning from his position as of Aug. 18 and would help with the recruitment process of his replacement.
It also stated that the town would compensate Acre for vacation time, which was not to exceed 320 hours. The board reluctantly passed the resolution before asking Acre if there was a firm number on how much time they owed. Acre stated that he would provide a number as soon as he could and reiterated that the amount could not exceed 320 hours of vacation time.
Acre finished by stating that he had as many as seven applicants for the manager position so far and hoped to have a review packet ready for the board by Aug. 7.