Auditors say Craig is in good shape financially |

Auditors say Craig is in good shape financially

Christina M. Currie

Auditors said the city’s in good financial shape and gave staff members a pat on the back for keeping it that way.

The 2004 audit was released this week. It showed no problems with the city’s bookkeeping or spending.

But, auditors with Bondi & Company did make suggestions for change, one of which had Craig City Council members smiling.

The council thought it had taken care of the myriad of requests for funding it received by forming the Human Resource Council. The city allocates a set amount to the HRC and a seven-member board determines where it goes.

Although that reduced the number of requests the council fielded, it didn’t eliminate them. This year, the city has been approached by Ride ‘N’ Tie Rodeo officials and Cinco de Mayo organizers with requests for funds.

Councilors learned Tuesday that the city charter prohibits them from giving funds to organizations not under the absolute control of the city unless it is a partnership with another government agency.

Jeff Ulrich, with Bondi & Company’s, suggested the council have an attorney review that portion of the charter to see whether his interpretation is correct.

If it is, it’s not likely something that will be changed.

“It’s a good way to say ‘no’ and if it’s in the charter, it’s easy,” Councilor Joe Herod said.

Council members have said it’s difficult to make funding decisions without having knowledge about the group making the request.

There’s also no oversight, Ulrich said. The council has few ways to guarantee the money is being spent the way it was intended to.

“If you don’t have budgetary control, you shouldn’t be giving funds,” Ulrich said.

Bondi & Company also recommended that the city change its pay schedule from twice monthly to every two weeks.

“It is an easier system to manage, but difficult for employees who are living paycheck to paycheck,” City Manager Jim Ferree said.

Paying twice a month means that accrued time off or overtime may not be accounted for until the next pay period. It also exposes the city to some financial liability because an employee may be paid for work they didn’t do because the payroll is processed a few days before checks are issued.

“You make some assumptions and catch up on the next pay day,” Ferree said.

Bondi & Company also recommended the city adopt a uniform purchasing policy. Although no problems were identified, Uhrich said it would be easier to track and evaluate purchases if all employees were using the same system.

Ferree said the recommendations are all being considered and that none would affect the 2006 budget.

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