The city of Hillsboro received a thumbs up from its auditing firm for the 2012 fiscal year during a special meeting of the city council July 1.
“Everything is positive—that means there’s no cash violations noted,” said Bill Glazner of Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball. “The city operates within their means, at least financially. No other issues were noted.”
In the firm’s management letter, the auditors did cite several “significant deficiencies,” which Glazner described as relatively minor situations where current procedures fall short of the auditors’ preferred procedures.
Some situations were the result of the city not being large enough to employ sufficient staff to carry out ideal procedures, Glazner acknowledged.
“It doesn’t mean the city doesn’t strive to put controls in place with personnel that they have—they do,” Glazner said. “Don’t confuse this as an opinion of ours that you’re not doing what you can. We believe that you are.”
At the same time, the letter did note several areas where procedures could be improved. Among them were ensuring that all employees are being reviewed annually, and that council members receive sufficient continuing education.
“Larry (Paine, city administrator) and the mayor (Delores Dalke) attended conferences, but we didn’t see that necessarily spread across the board with other council members,” Glazner said.
“Larry’s doing a good job from everything I can see,” Glazner told the council. “You put a lot of trust in him, but it’s good to be informed for yourself as well.”
Other recommendations included stating the vacation policy for part-time staff in the employee handbook, clarifying sick and vacation policies for library staff and developing a policy about the disposition of used assets in reference to the Recreation Commission.
“The city doesn’t want used equipment that is being disposed just taken home by employees,” Glazner said about the latter item. “We’re not saying that’s happening, but if lacking a policy it wouldn’t necessarily be improper to allow that. A policy dictates how things are handled and what the expectations are.”
After the council voted to receive the auditor’s report, it passed two items that addressed some of the auditors’ concerns.
One was Resolution 2013-05, which clarifies the city’s procedures for the capitalization and disposition of city-owned assets.
On the latter, the new policy states that surplus items with an estimated value less than $100 may be disposed of at the discretion of the city administrator. If the estimated value is in excess of $100 but not greater than $1,000, the city administrator will advertise the item for sealed bids in a local newspaper for not less than 30 days, or a bonafide auction company, and accept the highest responsible bid.
The resolution also states the city council will determine how to dispose of any surplus item with an estimated value in excess of $1,000.
Responding to the auditors’ note that some city accounts did not have current signature authorizations, the council passed Resolution 2013-06, which identifies authorized signers by position rather than by name.
The resolution listed as authorized signers for the checking or money market accounts for the city of Hillsboro as the mayor, council president, city treasurer, city clerk and deputy city clerk
Authorized to sign for the Public Building Commission, which technically owns and manages city-owned properties, are the city clerk and deputy city clerk.
Authorized to sign for the municipal court are the municipal court judge, municipal court clerk and city clerk.
Authorized to sign for the Hillsboro Recreation Commission are the city administrator, recreation director and HRC board members.
In other business, the council:
• approved a recommendation from the city’s Planning Commission that Tabor College be allowed to build an 8-foot-tall fence around its maintenance building on the corner of D and Adams streets. The city’s zoning code limits the height of a fence to 6 feet.
• approved payment of an invoice for $49,830.63 from Barkley Construction for work completed for the improvement project involving Birch, Cedar and Date streets.
Paine noted that the $552,000 project is nearing completion. A Community Development Block Grant is paying for $400,000 of the cost.
• approved payment of an invoice for $5,000 to Ranson Financial Consultants for grant adminstration services on the Birch, Cedar, Date project.
• approved the mayor’s appointment of Carolyn Boehn to the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals.