Weld County commissioners, county council hash out issues with upcoming audit
March 7, 2017
Weld County Commissioners are expected to vote on the contract for a consultant do conduct an audit of the commissioners and the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s office at it’s regular meeting 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Weld County Administration Building, 1150 O St.
Weld County commissioners, members of the Weld County Council and the Weld County Clerk and Recorder's Office on Tuesday agreed to contract terms for a consultant that will conduct an audit on the commissioners and clerk's office.
The Tuesday work session came a day after commissioners refused to approve a $50,000 contract with Harvey M. Rose Associates, a San Francisco-based firm the council selected for the audit.
The audit comes in response to complaints of long wait times and problems with the work environment at the clerk and recorder's office, as well as accusations of mismanaged money and what critics say are legally questionable meetings on behalf of commissioners.
Because the audit includes a fiscal note, county commissioners are required to approve the contract, making for tricky territory at Tuesday's work session. The county council was created to serve as a watchdog for Weld County elected officials, including the commissioners and county clerk.
Several times throughout the 30-minute session, commissioners told council members it was "their audit." Still, they shared concerns.
At issue were whether County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes or the commissioners would have a chance to review a draft of the report before it was finalized, questions about change orders for the contract and clarifications regarding the relative fairness of the audit.
Change orders, which change the scope or cost of contracts, must be approved by county commissioners. County council members agreed to that.
Prior review to correct factual errors only will be allowed for the five Weld County commissioners and for Koppes.
County council members reiterated staff for commissioners and the clerk's office would be interviewed, clarifying a portion of the consultant's proposal seeming to suggest no staff interviews in the clerk's office.
Only the question of prior review featured more than a couple minutes of discussion, as county council member Mike Grillos expressed concern that those reviewing the documents would leak them to The Greeley Tribune.
"This county has suffered more than its fair share of surreptitiously delivered reports delivered to the newspaper," Grillos said.
Although council members eventually agreed to a prior review, that review is to be monitored to ensure the report isn't given out. After the report is finalized, it will be made public for all parties, including residents, at the same time, council President Brett Abernathy said.
Council members and commissioners who spoke after the meeting said they were pleased with the meeting and were happy both sides could sit down to work out the issues before the audit.
—Tyler Silvy covers city and county government for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at email@example.com. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.