Audit committee could be eliminated next month

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The Board of Supervisors should discuss the need for the city's audit committee, Mayor Bob Crowell said at the meeting Thursday.

The audit committee reviews audits, tracks financial accountability and makes recommendations to the board of supervisors and the internal auditor, a position that has been open since October. The city is looking for a contract internal auditor.

The audit committee is made up of two supervisors, two citizens and the finance director, Nick Providenti.

Currently, three seats are filled by Providenti, Supervisor Pete Livermore, the committee's chairman, and citizen representative Ken Brown.

Thursday, Supervisor Molly Walt volunteered to fill the open supervisor's seat vacated when Supervisor Richard Staub lost re-election. As required by city code, the board voted to fill the open citizen seat.

Mayor Bob Crowell said the board should talk in July about what the city's auditing process should be. The city has to have an internal auditor by law, but Crowell said the board should discuss whether it needs an audit committee as well.

"What level of oversight do we need?" he said. "Are we duplicating functions or not?"

Crowell said the city needs an internal auditor to review finances and staff job performance. An internal auditor and an audit committee are functions of the audit process, he said, but "it may be that we don't need one of these functions."

Supervisor Robin Williamson said the audit committee shouldn't continue to make recommendations until supervisors have a "frank discussion" about what they really want the committee to do, if they want it at all.

The city already has an external auditor and will have an internal auditor soon, she said.

Livermore said he welcomes discussion about the audit committee. But the committee is necessary to help shape the city's auditing plan, he said.

He said he hopes the city can start planned audits of the city bypass, parks programs and the city's ambulance billing process as soon as possible.

"There's legitimate issues," he said. "We need to protect the public's safety, welfare and interests."

In other city news:

• Fire Chief Stacey Giomi gave Peggy Willis the first ever Fire Chief's Commendation Medal for helping to save the life of Dennis Sannebeck. Willis is a janitor at the Nevada Department of Information Technology and Sannebeck is building supervisor for the department. She used a defibrillator on Sannebeck after he lost consciousness at work.

• The board commended Walt Sullivan for 31 years of service to the city. Sullivan is retiring as director of development services. He started as an associate planner for the city. Supervisors and residents gave him a standing ovation for his work.


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