MADISON TOWNSHIP — State Auditor David Yost has declared Madison Township in a state of fiscal caution, and has given officials 60 days to present a proposal to correct problems.
Township trustees revealed the designation and deadline at Monday’s meeting.
In a letter dated May 17, Yost said the designation was based on four conditions, including failure to meet a 90-day deadline to restore financial records to an auditable condition. Township financial records were declared unauditable Jan. 17.
Other problems included deficit fund balances totaling $78,001 at the end of 2011, failure to reconcile records with bank statements for 27 months and “significant deficiencies, material weaknesses and direct and material noncompliance with state law” that were disclosed in the township’s 2008-09 state audit. The list included negative cash fund balances, appropriations exceeding estimated resources, receipts not posted or incorrectly posted and disbursements made from incorrect funds.
The fiscal caution declaration was based on a review of the township financial records April 19.
Yost gave the township 60 days to provide a written proposal to fix the problems. At minimum, the proposal must include appropriations within estimated financial resources, a timeframe for the bank reconciliation, a timeframe and steps to eliminate deficits and implement the proposal and a fiscal forecast.
Yost said failure to comply could lead to a designation of fiscal watch or fiscal emergency.
Township fiscal officer Sharon Willcox, who took office April 1, said the problem has been that the township has not had accurate balances at the beginning of the year.
“This has been going on for years and years and nobody has done anything about it,” she said.
Willcox said she worked for three straight days at the start of her term and was unable to reconcile township records with the bank balance using numbers provided by former fiscal officer Lorrie Tackett.
Willcox said it is her understanding that because the township is in fiscal caution, state auditors will come in and reconcile the books from Tackett’s information before starting their audit.
“The one good thing to come out of this is we will get some help,” she said. “I hope the state will stick around and help us out after they’re done and help us get started.”
Willcox was concerned the state could find more areas to correct.
Trustee Dan Fletcher was more optimistic. “There could also be money there that we don’t know about,” he said.
Link to comments on the MNJ, I bet some of those shared that were made there are CENSORED – lol! ; http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/comments/article/20120522/NEWS01/205220312/Madison-declared-fiscal-caution