by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

   The 2019 Shiawassee County audit, due June 30, 2020 and then extended through July – eventually leading to the county receiving a delinquency notice in August from the Michigan Department of Treasury – was submitted to the Finance and Administration Committee on Monday, Jan. 11. The committee approved the audit, moving it forward to the Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday where it was then moved to the Thursday board meeting and was unanimously approved.

   For the 2019 audit, the county used Rehmann. The county has been late on the audit for four consecutive years, starting in 2016. County finance and audit information is available at through 2018 for review.

   During the Monday Finance and Administration Committee meeting, a motion to consider approving an invoice for $15,500 from Rehmann for extra expenses incurred beyond the bid original had failed, but in the process of meetings throughout the week, the item was added to the agenda for the Thursday board meeting.

   “I feel like we’re pretty strong going into this new audit,” Chairman Jeremy Root (R-Dist. 5) stated toward the end of the Wednesday Committee of the Whole meeting. “We should have a lot of those material weaknesses kind of taken care of, so hopefully. I know it’s going to depend on how each department handles it individually and internally as far we all working overall as a team.”

   Commissioner Marlene Webster (R-Dist. 1) expressed her thoughts on the 2019 audit just prior to approval in the Thursday meeting. “We have a very serious audit report in front of us and my comments are in no way a reflection of the people that have been working really hard to set right the messes they inherited. And I know, to some degree, this board has inherited this mess … I hope you all know how very serious this all is and I hope to see and will ask to see that at every Finance and Administration Committee meeting, we’re talking about the progress that has been made on a corrective action. That has to happen. It could be really serious for all of us if that doesn’t.”

   Commissioner John Plowman (R-Dist. 7) moved to accept and file the 2019 audit. Commissioner Webster seconded. The motion carried with seven yeas.

   Another motion by Plowman, seconded by Commissioner Brandon Marks (R-Dist. 4), saw a vote of 6 to 1 to approve the Rehmann invoice of $15,500. The only no vote was Commissioner Holzhausen (R-Dist. 3).

   Holzhausen inquired if anyone had asked Rehmann to lower the amount down. Shiawassee County Coordinator Dr. Brian Boggs explained that he had asked and the amount was already at a lower rate.

   Similar bills to two previous audits had been paid, but the commissioners had not been made aware of the invoices in prior years. The commissioners are not renewing with Rehmann.

2019 Shiawassee County Audit Approved At Last was last modified: January 26th, 2021 by Karen Elford