Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Presidio County Commissioners Court meeting notes 7/14/2015

Today the 2014 single audit for the county was presented. The county received an adverse opinion. Here are my notes from this meeting. I will have a complete statement on this issue written soon.

P.C.C.C. 07/14/2015
All present except Lorenzo Hernandez (probably still out after kidney stones)
Item 3- public comments- none
Item 4- county judge's comments:
No inmate c t for jail at this point. Population unofficially 65 adults.
Texas rural water association called yesterday. Want the CRT to consider appointing someone to maintain water system in Candelaria. Also brought up quality of water at airport. Possibly going into partnership with City of Presidio.
Person needs class D certification from state.
RGCOG - criminal justice reporting was delinquent. Already have taken steps to improve and now within 90% compliance. Rating affects grant eligibility. County atty, jail, clerks have all worked together.
Commissioners announcements: asking judge about pipeline meeting, Presidential Permit meeting for bridge. Discussion regarding bridge progress and TXDOT participation, assistance.
5) Executive Session. Judge Guevara says it's not necessary, motions to table. In favor unanimous
6) FY 2014 audit. Doak Painter presents:
Adverse audit. 3rd audit he has worked on in 20 ,moths for Presidio County. Talks about 2012 audit.
2012- complex grant problems. Co- mingled.
2013- "lost records caused adverse opinion" not true. Material problems far beyond some missing paperwork.
2014- 49 cash accounts, half plus not represented on books. No fixed assets listed, cash basis instead of accrual for jail accounts. Marshals service owes big bucks to jail fund, amount unknown. Material issues throughout the county government.
Big disconnect between courthouse and jail. Information flow is lacking severely between departments. No follow though on fixing problems. Administration issue countywide. County needs to focus on follow through of implementing corrective actions. Departments have own cash accounts treasurer does not have access to. By virtue of treasurers role she should have access and be on top of all finances in the county. Doak says his report speaks for itself.
Schedule of findings: starts with 4 inmate trust funds with absolutely no accounting. Nowhere in books, no balances, no reconciliation. Jail commissary does not track sales, collects sales tax but does not even have a sales tax ID. Inmate trust funds: no reconciliations of trust funds. Grant administration : multiple funds. County has 49 bank accounts to deal with; increases risk.
Lack of close schedule. Close schedule states the day of reconciliations, receivables inputting, etc. County needs to implement close schedules, consolidate bank accounts. Mentions that things were getting better when auditor came in, but when he quit county backslid.
White says that county needs to be more aggressive on fixing problems. Actively pursue remedies. Painter says that plan is there and commissioners can make it happen. First thing at needs to be done is to organize and track assets. Sept 30. Then get it insured by TAC, completely tracked with titles, etc. every year the county has to take an inventory by the beginning of the fiscal year. Communication improvements. References PO system, conflicts of interest. County needs to close out funds, zero out balances, start with new fresh data.
Doak says if a department head refuses to cooperate the problems will never be fixed. Aranda says we need to really pressure everyone to cooperate. Judge says that she is going to have an agenda item to have a close-out day where each department shuts down and counts inventory, condition of inventory. Painter says that if he is to continue as auditor the county needs to start fresh; it's too difficult to try to complete an audit without accurate information, systems in place. Stonegarden grants not completely spent, not accounted for properly. Over 1.1 million granted, left 313,000 dollars on the table, could have been spent on a grant administrator with more money left over. Grant administrator necessary for county; needs to be that person's sole duty. Marfa Golf Association has an expired contract, county is custodian of bank account. Liability is on county. Painter says county has three months to make changes or will be on same path. Guevara says " those days are over" and receives support from all commissioners present. Aranda mentions communication between departments, commissioners. Painter says that if he in engaged for next year's audit he is committed to quarterly monitoring. Says Patty Roach is aware of how to fix the problems, commissioners should lean on her. Guevara proposes asset day be Aug 27th, requests that commissioners attend.
White recommends accepting audit. Unanimous.
7) internal auditor/OMB response to auditors findings. Patty Roach says the audit is thorough and of high caliber. Says county needs to acknowledge findings. Grant funding issues. This year county has established a new structure to the accounting system for grant funding. New system allows auditor to identify each grant as it comes in. Such as Stonegarden, where you may I have several years open at once; this method allows for proper tracking. Hoping that this structure will help auditor at end of year. Many findings deal with procedure. OMB has developed a monthly closing procedure. Monthly bank reconciliations procedures, efforts to track and reconcile accounts operated by other elected officials. Grant reimbursement spreadsheets need to be reconciled to general ledger. Capital asset transactions need to be reconciled every month in conjunction with the RCI software. Payroll liability accounts need to be reconciled by a certain date. Non-treasurer managed accounts need to have methodology for reporting. Confirmation of tax statements, e.g. Sales tax, etc. Reports would eventually go to commissioners court with reconciliations, etc included for each dept. Jail trust funds will be reviewed with Sheriff's office. Determine purposes, tracking system, etc. Monthly basis reporting to OMB to be added to general ledger for county. U.S. Marshals service payments need to be submitted to OMB, tracked properly. Transactions above $50,000 have been addressed by commissioners court with new purchasing policy. Capital assets have been inventoried by RCI, county needs to be on top of keeping track.
Grant reimbursement requests need to be reconciled to general ledger. County needs to work harder to catch up and get books straight so that single audit will not be late. County needs to develop a year-end procedure. Policies of accounting for vacation and comp time, etc. determine a drop date for posting between one fiscal year and another. Texas Comptroller enforcement officer named James Forristal coming to review sales tax issue and others. Katie Sanchez speaks: says progress has been made. OMB has been educating departments to reconcile their own accounts, most did not know they were supposed to and are now doing it.
Approved by commissioners unanimously.
10:31- ten minute break
Reconvene 10:57.
Item 8- approve and accept 6 county vehicles and 6 grant funded vehicles as surplus and title them to the county. Frances has most of the titles, the three given by the Sheriff to PISD and the presidio fire dept. White asks whether the vehicles should have all been titled to county. Guevara says that state grant funding said that it was a local decision. State atty general says all property is in exclusive jurisdiction of the county. White asks whether the vehicles were given by the Sheriffs office to other agencies. Titled to other entities. Same county policy has been in effect since 2010. Transfer of titles never came to commissioners court. White says this is the type of problem that needs to be addressed by commissioners court if the books are to be fixed. Aranda asks if there are valid interlocal agreements in place to have this happen. White declares that state law says that commissioners court still must approve. County is paying insurance on one of the vehicles. White says this should be tabled so that everything can be corrected. TAC says city is liable even if not insured. Shanna asks which vehicles are in question. White gets into it with Shanna. Shanna says that they are trying to retitle vehicles. White makes motion to table and asks treasurer to work with other depts to rectify the situation and for the county clerk to provide minutes of former meetings that addressed same issues.
9) Presidential Permit item to allow Jake Giesbrecht to work more than 8 hours per month. TXDOT requires the project coordinator to be a full time county employee. Motion carries to make Jake a full time employee to become compliant. Unanimous.
10) Presentation by Manny Araujo regarding Harris Govern. Appraisal and tax business. Writes software for tax offices and appraisal districts. Software integrates both offices. Says #1 challenge for ad valorem tax collection is communication between the appraisal district and the tax office, especially when there are software differences. Good example of problems is address corrections. Harris software completely integrates both offices. Right now PCAD uses Harris govern, county uses a different vendor. Cost info: stand alone hardware: $105,285.00 to install. Recurring costs yearly is $13,210.00 discount for Presidio County since PCAD is already implemented. Yearly maintenance $12,000. Initial install : $92,075.00
Financing available through Government Capital corp. software also has geolocation capabilities tracking appraiser activities to help clarify appraisal adjustment data. Brewster County switched to Harris 8 yrs ago, both offices. Vasquez brings up that people in presidio often are driving back and forth trying to figure their appraisals and billing out. This would streamline and make it much easier for those people in particular. White mentions that the current Presidio county appraisal rolls are difficult to read compared to Brewster and Davis counties. Integration of current data possible with this upgrade. Item for presentation only, no action.
11) Perdue regarding status of collections. 46% on 2013 delinquent taxes. Rio grande Mining Co has been paying on debt. Perdue filed a suit to keep them going. Still owe about $600,000. Also trying to keep them out of bankruptcy, develop payment plan. Tax sale in September.
12) Presentation by TAC representative risk management Victor Uvalle. Cyber liability coverage addendum to TAC policy. Regarding hacking, dat breaches. Adding free May 1st. Risk control tool for cyber security. Property coverage - crime insurance. Employee theft coverage.
Break for lunch at 12:06. 30 minutes.
Late to return. I returned at 12:51.
Next item: fees to be reported to comptroller by Sheriff's Office. Citations, summons etc. All increase to $100. Need to be reported to Comptroller.
16) interlocal agreement for E-911 services. Motion by White. Unanimous
17) Department Heads' Reports:
A) internal auditor. Already reported earlier
B) OMB report- Katie Sanchez. Invoices approved $181,000 +. Other items need approval. Homeland Security has suspended grants until audit received and approved. 2015 SHSP grant has been approved. Audit late so grant funding is held up. Could face suspension of active grants.
C) county clerk report. Collections reports for county and district. Judge asks for more simplified totals. Using IDocket software, does not break it down. Judge recommends going to Hill Country for clerk's office.
D) facilities Manager - commends the commissioners court for financial improvements since Jan 1. Says it's been easier to manage budgets. Courthouse roof repairs complete. Repaired leaks and installed cap. Worked on 16 rotted windows. More work needs to be done. Dome still leaking, painting, caulking. Grant from Marjo Skiles for benches from Rotary. $4000.00 grant start with 4 benches. Recommending recycled plastic and aluminum benches. Cobos agrees. Rotary symbol on benches. Benches selected by county. Aranda says Cobos and judge pick benches, finish grant project. White agrees. County jail- lots of maintenance. HVAC units - proposal to add another refrigeration unit. Evaporative units currently there near end of lifespan. County needs to choose which way to go. Kitchen maintenance pretty extensive. Supply lines for cell sinks going out. Proposes replacing all at once to avoid emergencies. Columns in front of building need paint. Parapet in front cracked. Water leaking into walls. Need to fix, funded before but not done. Roof repairs not done correctly in past. Looks like major expense. Requesting a full time person to be jail maintenance man. $30,000 budgeted. Most spent. White tells Cobos this is his job, in job description, and is his job to manage timelines and budgets for repairs of deteriorated facilities. Vasquez says Cobos is spending too much time at jail because of this, other places in the county need work. Judge asks Gracie if she wishes to have a dedicated maintenance person. She says yes, Judge recommends that be part of presentation in next budget cycle. When jail is fully staffed and not full, jail can mow own lawn. Judge congratulates Sam on ADA compliance in Presidio to avoid fines. Completed. Aranda brings up Redford School. Scraped floor, in good shape Sam says. Says floor ready to be leveled and epoxied. Showers to be repaired. Bids were high. $7000 for each shower. Cobos negotiated own to both for $9500. Building to be used as an emergency shelter.
E) JP 1 report- judge Guevara asks about $20 dismissal fees. May be illegal. Beebe will check with TjCTC. Vasquez asks about inspection sticker violation confusion. I stated that I hadn't seen a ticket for inspection violation since new rules went into effect March 1st
F) emergency management report: Mitchske brings DVD to load presentation. County is approved up to intermediate level on Emergency Management Plan. Level refers to things like radiation, chemical, etc. further than just basic level. Sensitive information, not for the public. Advanced level has a few more annexes. Shooting for that level eventually, working towards it. Commissioners need to take classes. Aranda is next in line following Guevara as EM Coordinator. Judge brings up at this training is required and needs to happen. JP needs training. Sheriff needs all levels of training. Can be done online.
G) Treasurer's Report. Commissioners Court wants to know how much money the county has; are we going to make it through FY 2015? Frances and Katie don't have answer. Gracie says there are 2 large checks coming from Marshal's service. Requesting something for next meeting. Commissioners don't want to be surprised right as new budget is crafted.
Treasurer relays that inventory lists from each dept are all in, except for Sheriff's Office. Trailer missing, Sheriff does not know where trailer is. 1996 Big Tex utility trailer. White says deputy should look for it. Sheriff said maybe he had sold it years back. Should have been a request to surplus it and sell it. Regardless, trailer is county property and is missing.
Line item transfers - none
Bills and expenses-
Rental from True Value- roto rooter for jail. Jail has 50 foot one, needed 100 foot.
Minutes from last meeting- approved.
Adjourn at 2:18 PM

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