Council, former clerk discuss policy issues

Published: Sunday, December 29, 2013 at 01:02 PM.

“If you don’t have trust in your clerk and have the confidence in her to move money back and forth, from the street department to the water department and so on, then you’re in trouble,” Mayor B.J. Phillips said. “I’m kind of new at this mayor business, but I know we have to go by the city charter.”

Riley said the town lives on a month-to-month budget, just like regular families, and sometimes the clerk has to move funds from one account to another to cover bills.

One example was a $12,000 fire truck payment that was due in December, and which caused concern with the Volunteer Fire Department members.

“The county has cut back on the amount of fire funds they provide, and those funds don’t come in all at once,” Riley explained. She said the county has cut its annual contribution to the city fire department by $10,000.

“We’re living with a budget, and to survive, we have to move money around,” Phillips said.

Past practice has been that the clerk moved funds around to pay the bills, without seeking council permission for each transaction, Riley said. “In your books each month you get a report showing all the transactions.”

Councilman Dallas Carter said he was under the impression that every thing had to come before the council for approval.

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