CLEARFIELD – DuBois resident and Clearfield County Commissioner candidate Dave Glass addressed concerns he had over the county’s audit and finances at Tuesday’s commissioners’ meeting.
During the public comment period, Glass said he felt “compelled” to address the county’s 2018 audit report, which was presented during the Sept. 24 commissioners’ meeting.
He said it appeared that the auditor was trying hard to put a “positive spin” on the audit. “He was emphasizing the good, and not mentioning some of the bad.
“That’s not his job. He should’ve presented all the relevant facts on both sides of the ledger.” Glass said after reviewing the audit, he found the auditor’s oral report both misleading and incomplete.
While it’s true the county doesn’t have any debt, he said the county has capital project needs that demand attention at both the courthouse and prison.
At some point soon, Glass said the county will have to take on debt to address repairs at both buildings. He said it’d be best to make the public aware now, and also to build a capital reserve.
However, he was more concerned about what was “not discussed” by the auditor in his oral report.
According to information provided by Glass, the county ran a 2018 deficit approaching $1 million and had an ending fund balance of around $3.9 million.
He said it appeared that the general fund was depleted by over 20 percent and the unrestricted fund balance was depleted by almost 40 percent.
According to information provided by Glass, there’s a note on page 41 indicating the operating and capital reserves are reclassified into the general fund as per requirements of GASB 54.
According to information provided by Glass, it appeared that $625,000 was added into the unrestricted fund, which makes it look much larger.
“… Due to the change, there’s effectively no reserve fund at all,” he said, noting the funds were reclassified now when GASB 54 went into effect in 2010.
Glass also addressed concerns over the county hiring an outside budget consultant. Amid a “serious budget crunch,” he said the county can’t even work together to get its budget done in-house.
He reminded the commissioners that while budget pressure has created tension between county offices, they were elected to handle these types of issues.
Glass asked everyone who’s involved in the budget process to put their personal animosities aside and to work together for the good of the county.