Submitted by Walter K Noot, Payson
A recent article in the Payson Roundup spotlighted some grave fiduciary shortcomings in our district relative to filing audits and general accountability for expenses incurred by our incumbent County Supervisor, Tommie Martin. Tommie deflected much of the criticism of her tenure by blaming she was outnumbered by the votes of the other two county supervisors. Well, she has been the incumbent for 15 years. I’m just saying.
The last on-time audit was submitted in 2011. Late audit filings potentially cost the county a small fortune in lost contracts and or grants and federal funding. 2009 was the last time a physical inventory of equipment was done. Private companies don’t operate that way. County government should be held to a higher standard. This shoddy accounting leaves the county vulnerable to the potential for fraud and misappropriation of county assets.
Tommie being outvoted doesn't excuse her personal missteps as they relate to conflict of interest charges and authorizing payments to organizations without any applications or subsequent accounting documentation. Over 30k in travel expenses? Where on earth did she have to go and how often? 30k pays for an awful lot of travel…even going first class. No receipts. No accountability. No Bueno!
Furthermore, I suspect that if she was aware of these audit problems it should have been incumbent upon her to pressure her peers into compliance. Her actions, at the least, seem to constitute malfeasance; at the worst, fraud.
There ought to be a mechanism in place that allows for the removal of culpable parties that demonstrate a gross dereliction of duty. The entire triumvirate comprising the three districts, past and current, should be held accountable.
According to the Auditor General’s Office there are no penalties for late filing and there are no teeth in any current statutes that mandate compliance. Basically, the supervisors can do whatever they want without fear of consequences.
Certainly, Tommie Martin’s performance should not be rewarded by voting her into office again. Hallie or Tommie? The choice seems clear.
There is much blame to go around. In the meantime, the residents of Gila County are and have been the recipients of ineptitude and mismanagement.
Vote for Hallie Overman Jackman for District 1 County Supervisor of Gila County