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MAYOR’S CORNER: A possible cure for the flooding problem

Greetings to the great citizens of Greenwood,

In the past, flooding in Greenwood occurred when Vache Grasse creek backed up and stopped water flow as it crossed Fort Chaffee. If you will remember, a couple of months ago I had a meeting with the commander of the Fort Chaffee Military Camp. We arranged this meeting to discuss the congested Vache Grasse creek and the problems it was causing for Greenwood. The commander reported back to me that they have cleaned up and removed all the trash and dammed up areas in the creek and water is now flowing freely in the creek. An environmental study of the creek is currently being done so they can widen and deepen the creek like Greenwood did. Hopefully this will cure a lot of our flooding problems in the city.

Some have asked me what the “Segregation of Duties” comments in this year’s water and Sewer audit mean. Basically, it is there because our total employees in the city finance department do not agree with the chart that auditors are required to compare our total employees with to determine if we are understaffed, according to the A.I.C.P.A. Hiring four more employees would satisfy the auditor’s guidelines for the separation of financial duties chart, but it would create several other problems for the city. It would take four additional employees to eliminate the “separation of duties” exception in the audit reports. The hiring of four additional employees would cost the city salaries, benefits, additional office space, desks, chairs, file cabinets, etc. Then we would have to determine if the city had enough existing work to keep each new employee busy for forty hours each week. You see, some things look great on paper, (like the segregation of duties concept). But in the real world that theory does not work for every city, although, if we were the size of Little Rock it would work. I think it is important that citizens go on the city website. They will find all of the city water and sewer audits dating back to 1999. One thing is in each audit report, comments on the need for more “segregation of duties”. The auditors have included that comment in our audit reports for at least the last fourteen years.

It would be good to point out what was said in the management letter addressed to the city from the auditors: “Due to the small staff size of the water and sewer fund, each employee is required to do a number of varying duties, some of which are incompatible to achieve an ideal segregation of duties. This was further aggravated by the retirement of the City Clerk and the fact that the financial assistant was performing both the clerk and financial assistant duties for part of 2012. Management has already put in place controls to limit these incompatible duties to the extent possible given the staff size. We recommend that accounting duties be periodically monitored for ways in which a further segregation of duties can be achieved. In addition, all employees can be cross-trained to perform all duties, and those duties rotated periodically, so that one person does not do the same thing all the time.”

The auditors did not recommend the hiring of any new employees, yet we will take their advice put forth in the management letter and cross-train employees to perform additional duties and those duties will be rotated periodically, thus we will have more eyes monitoring the day to day function of city finances. The auditor stated to me that our audit report was “outstanding” this year and he would be at the January council meeting to discuss the report.

It has been one year ago this month since I went into the hospital. I have now completed my yearly checkup and I know if it were not for the prayers of the churches and citizens of our city, I would not be here. Because of the prayers that were said for me, I was healed. My doctor said I am in the best shape I have been in since he has known me. A big “Thank You” goes out to the caring people of Greenwood.

Feel free to come by City Hall at 8 am each weekday morning and join us in prayer for our great city, all are welcome!