During this month’s County Council meeting, Council Vice-President Tim Harman updated members on the appropriation for the Lifelong Learning and Blue Zones grant match during the December meeting. 

Both Harman and Council President Jesse Bohannon felt that the appropriation was invalid or inappropriate since the grant hadn’t been awarded yet and there was specific language in the resolution pledging support for the local match.

During that December meeting, Harman said he was going to file a grievance with the state.  He said, “It’s not to get anybody in trouble, it’s just to be sure the taxpayer’s dollars are well protected and it is good stewardship of the tax dollars.”  He clarified that the Auditor’s office was not a party to the action or to be held responsible or a fault for anything.    

Harman said he spoke with Tammie White at the State Board of Accounts a few days after the meeting.  He explained the systems the county put in place with the committees and resolutions. Harman then emailed her for clarification of the phone conversation where she said, “Based on the policies we have adopted, we may have violated our own policies.”  She confirmed that statement.

Harman said a few days later he spoke with an auditor, Rickie Hoffer who told him there’s a process that most counties are adhering to with committees and it’s more of a collaborative effort between the Council and the Commissioners along with the boards that have been set up.   The auditor said they would take a look at it and perhaps find a, finding-of-fact.  If it was grievous enough, they could pass it on to the federal government.  Harman said, “The danger of that is, if the federal government were to come back and say you didn’t do it right, we want our money back.  The likelihood of that happening I can’t guarantee. It’s probably not great, I’m just surmising. It was a 1.5-million-dollar appropriation for Lifelong Learning actually and a half a million dollars for Blue Zones that’s kind of mute.”

At that point, he suggested the County Council get some counsel for further consultation on it.

Tim Harman closed his comments by saying, “It’s been reported, and I think the State Board of Accounts will look at it and determine it.  I think I have done my part.  I certainly want to make sure that the tax dollars are spent wisely and guarded appropriately and that’s why Mr. Bohannon and I took those measures.”

Councilman Bohannon added, “I think we probably should reaffirm some appointment to the ARP Committee.”  He said there are about three and a quarter million dollars in funds that haven’t been spent.  Tim Harman and Nicole Cox were appointed to the ARP Committee.  Mr. Bohannon is an existing member of the committee. 

During the Commissioner’s meeting on January 17th if was clarified that the president of the Commissioners, Stan Klotz will replace Kevin Overmyer on the committee.