County Enlisting Help From CPA Firm For Budget Issues

Crawford County commissioners agreed Tuesday to enlist the help from a CPA firm to speak with other county officials on possible ways to fix lingering budget issues.

Tammy Alsop of Hodhschild Bloom & Co. provided a free consultation, with County Clerk John Martin the most dismissive.

Presiding Commissioner Leo Sanders had the firm referred to him by a member of Peoples Bank. The CPA firm does work on behalf of Franklin County, St. Louis County and other municipalities.

“I’m not sure what the point is,” Martin said. “We’ve had three audits say ‘raise revenue or cut services’.”

When Alsop said she was there to help, Martin interjected.

“How are you going to raise revenue?” he asked, then inquired about what the costs of an audit would be.

“I can’t do an audit,” Alsop replied. “I’m here to get you on the right track.”

“I’m going to shut up now because you have no idea what I’m saying,” Martin fired back. “The laws governing first class and third class counties are different.”

Alsop said the common thread is that no county can run deficits, of which Crawford County has been doing for several years.

Sanders interrupted and said the consultation was preliminary and free of charge. District 2 Commissioner Jared Boast said it was something that needed to be done.

“It’s a step we have to take,” he said.

District 1 Commissioner Rob Cummings was more muted in his agreement, but ultimately decided to go along with it.

“I feel like we’re at the point where we know nobody has a solution how to end it,” Cummings said of the struggle to fix the budget mess.

Read more in the Aug. 23 issue of the Independent News.

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