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Weld County Council picks auditing firm for commissioners, clerk and recorder

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Recognition — The County Council on Monday adopted a resolution and presented a plaque recognizing former council member Don Mueller. The former council member served nine years, first winning election in 2008.

Spat delayed — Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway was due to present evidence related to a letter he sent the council before its January meeting. In the letter, Conway accused fellow commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer of lying to the council at a December meeting. The long and short of it is Conway thought the council’s meeting was next week, an easy mistake to make given that every month except February features a council meeting on the third Monday of the month.

Vote getters — The council, with prompting from council President Brett Abernathy, discussed the commissioners issue. Namely, Abernathy took issue with Conway not leading a department this year. Conway’s fellow commissioners refused to allow it, citing trust issues with Conway. The long and short of this one is that council members will discuss whether a resolution urging a ballot issue to change the charter and force every commissioner to oversee a department would be a good idea in November.

The Weld County Council on Monday selected a San Francisco-based consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Weld County Clerk and Recorder and the Board of Weld County Commissioners.

The $49,200 price tag also puts the council just under the $50,000 commissioners pre-approved for the audits.

The selection process featured six proposals, whittled to two, then one by council members Michael Grillos and Gene Stille, who then recommended Rose to the board.

But the selection faces a final hurdle. County commissioners, one of the entities to be audited, must approve of the selection.

The process is expected to start in March, with a completion date near the end of June.

County commissioners have previously said they welcome an audit of their work, as has Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes.

The optimism comes in the face of harsh criticism for both.

A series of employee, resident and car dealer complaints, centered on wait times and office climate, highlight the likely focus of a clerk and recorder audit. With commissioners, the auditor likely will look at accusations of unnecessary spending on conferences and travel and treatment of county employees.

Complaints in either case go back months, and nailing down an audit was a frustrating affair for some, including former council member Don Mueller, who decided not to seek re-election rather than deal with more of the back-and-forth.

After the meeting, council President Brett Abernathy said it's the nature of the council, which has had just nine meetings since all of the drama started.

"This is what the council does," Abernathy said. "It takes a little more time to get things done, but we want to make sure we get it done right."

In January, council members laid out the framework for an audit in a question-and-answer session with prospective auditors. Members asked any audit of the clerk and recorder include Koppes' predecessor, Steve Moreno (current county commissioner).

Council members also asked at least 40 employees of each audited organization be interviewed as part of the audit. The firm plans nearly 60 interviews in each audit.

Further, the audit should focus on efficiency, effectiveness, and should address any legal matters that should arise during the course of the audit.

— Tyler Silvy covers city and county government for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at tsilvy@greeleytribune.com. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.