By Wayne Allen
It’s anticipated that the Scioto County Financial Planing and Supervision Commission will meet for the very last time on Feb. 20, when they will officially request release from from fiscal emergency status. The commission was scheduled to meet in January, but the meeting was delayed until Feb. 20.
“What I and the auditor’s office wanted to do is make sure that everything is in place to be able to request release,” Sharon Hanrahan, commission chairwoman said.
According to a report of accounting methods for Scioto County, released in July, on Aug. 19, 2009, Scioto County was declared in a state of fiscal emergency by the Auditor of State. As a result of the declaration, a Financial Planning and Supervision Commission was established. In the section of the report titled ‘Governance Overview’, it states the (financial planing and supervision) commission will continue in existence until the Auditor of State, or the commission itself determines that an effective financial accounting and reporting system is in the process of being implemented, and is expected to have been completed within two years.
All of the fiscal emergency conditions have been corrected or eliminated, and no new emergency conditions have occurred. The objectives of the financial recovery plan are being met, and the board of commissioners has prepared a financial forecast for a five-year period, and such forecast is, in the Auditor of State’s opinion, ‘non-adverse.’ Once these requirements are satisfied, the commission will be terminated.
Hanrahan said that on Feb. 20 the commission will look over the five-year budget projects prepared by the county.
“We are looking at how the five-year forecast is going to shape up and there has not been to many questions. Primarily we want to make sure that all of the comments in the report of accounting methods were addressed,” Hanrahan said. “Because those comments lay in different areas we wanted to double check those.”
She said the commission may have its final meeting, but will remain in existence under law.
“It may be the final of the commission, but the commission it’s self by law does not go away. We (Financial Planing and Supervision Commission) will stand in the background and let a team come in to do a termination analysis,” Hanrahan said. “With the timing, the termination analysis may take a while to be issued. “
She said the team that completes the termination analysis will examine the things that got the county into fiscal emergency have bee addressed. Realistically, she said, it may be July before Scioto County will officially be released from fiscal emergency status.
“I anticipate that we will request release on the 20th (of February). We’ll likely not be issuance of a termination analysis until maybe July,” Hanrahan said. “That’s because the auditors office has things they have to accomplish in May and June. In that interim I don’t expect there to be a need for the commission to meet until the termination analysis is released.”
She said what’s been done in the past is that the commission is convened one last time when the deceleration of termination is released.
When asked about the progress the county has made of the last few years financially Hanrahan said, “it truly amazing, they’ve (county officials) made a lot of hard decisions and will continue to have to make hard decisions in the future. It was a lot of people pulling together to make this work. Everyone should really be commended.”
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT