UPDATE: Chicken Little shows up to the Minnehaha County Commission meeting

UPDATE: Audit report starts at 26:30

For the record, I did NOT attend the MCC meeting this morning, and since it takes them several days to the load the meeting to YouTube (something that should take like an hour) I haven’t seen it yet, so I am going by what is written in this story;

The audit looked at July to August 2018, around the time the treasurer’s office began revamping their efforts to catch up on the statements. It found that the county’s internal controls over cash management and reconciliation management were “inadequate, resulting in diminished assurance that county’s financial transactions were properly recorded and its assets were adequately safeguarded.” A treasurer’s daily balance book hasn’t been maintained since July 2018, either. 

“A significant deficiency is not acceptable,” Beninga said. “Not only does it affect the county, but it affects the school system and the city and the cash flow related issues.”

I will agree that this is troubling, and Treasurer Nelson should do a better job, but I have to take her side on this for a couple of reasons. First off, Nelson has asked for more staff several times, while the State’s Attorney can skip work for two months without an initial explanation while turning around and asking for more help and more money for his department while we bond for a bigger jail, Nelson’s workload has gotten bigger. As Beninga mentions above, she has a lot of taxes to manage. The property valuation of the SFSD alone is $11 Billion folks. You can’t do that job with a shoestring staff, and how Nelson has managed without more SNAFU’s is beyond me.

But where I don’t get is the ‘Sky is Falling’ attitude towards the situation;

The audit did not find any missing money, Schaefer said. He ended up with a balance of $2,868 more than what county budget showed. 

So if ‘no money is missing’ what’s the beef? It kind of sounds like the MCC is failing to be a partner with Nelson in alleviating these issues;

Schaefer recommended commissioners take some action on making sure the reports reach their desks. 

“You have to have due diligence to get the reconciliation process done,” he said. “Someone has to be responsible for that.”

In other words, make sure you are doing your job and asking for the reports, and when Nelson asks for more help give it to her.




3 comments ↓

#1 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 09.24.19 at 6:37 pm

This is just Republicans attacking a Democratic County Treasurer. Their playbook can be read from a mile away.

#2 Reliable Voter on 09.26.19 at 7:55 am

Minnehaha County Commissioners receive a salary of $27,800 or so for part time positions, higher than legislators and city councilors. There are full time county employees who earn a similar amount. Part time Commissioners control the budgets of full- time elected officials as well as employees under their own supervision. County governments across South Dakota are understaffed and underfunded. The Legislature holds Commissioners in such low regard their requests and complaints for more funding options are routinely ignored. Governor Daugaard went further and shifted costs on to counties – because they are largely team player Republicans and wouldn’t complain much – at least publicly, and again, Legislators don’t care. The Commission approved a budget that, again, failed to adequately staff the Treasurers and States Attorneys office. The Commission could raises taxes – but don’t want to because they would not be re-elected and they enjoy their positions of power, and real concerns about overtaxing a growing elderly population in a low wage earner state. What am I missing here?

#3 Outraged on 09.27.19 at 9:20 am

This is a great article. Nelson was voted because she’s an advocate FOR THE PEOPLE. I too am surprised and delighted that she been able to do such a great job with no support from the Commission as well as battling the antagonistic Carol Muller. Can we PLEASE bring Ken McFarlabd back? There is plenty of blame to go around here for the County Auditor, the Commission, and yes – the County Treasurer . Like a plane crash the “best practices of reconciling finances” were not followed because of unfortunate personal issues of key staff , terrible state mandated software that didn’t work well, and an over burdened Treasurer doing her best with no support from the Commission, and a County Auditor and County Admin Professional (Muller) who were oblivious . There were no major findings in the review by the State Auditor . It’s disappointing the the Commission and Muller are wasting time pointing fingers instead of helping Nelson get the resources she needs & I’m not counting the ridiculous kiosk that anyone over 60 probably won’t use.

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