Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
June 13, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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June 13, 2018

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Page 4C t l I ! l t e l -7 f First Place, Best Editorial Page i First Place, Best News Photograph First Place, Best Serious Column ii Second Place, Best Sports Section Second Place, Best Headlines }! Second Place, Overall General Excellence[! Third Place, Best Community Service Third Place, Best Layout and Design ii Third Place, Best Humor Column i +t our news eaoo;~, - o~oe% ' ,amoo~-~- - . .o';*'.'; - o . . . . OO Qe .* "] ~ ~ o* 9N LeeStreet .: receiving numerous awards from the Georgia Press;: "o''o -.'oo",F0mth GA .: - 0: """ N:te T{' i P :~/" ' ~t " ": " rsythEable .: nd Ploce ,nthe r,s s,ze! 1. o oo.o o.o oo .o I li I I PERSONS Ihnking () npam, 478-994-5146 88 North Lee Street Forsyth, GA 31029 nnd nechnnicnl, Ig 198 Harold G. Clarke Pkwy (Exit 185) Forsyth "Family Owned and Operated since 1977" Certified Dealer & Seruicer of' GENERAC Generators Danny Newton, Owner 538 Hwy 83 North Forsyth, GA 31029 833 PATROL ROAD, FORSYTH 478-993-2202 $tateFarm Charlie Pelt, Agent 12 E. Johnston Street F0rs~h, GA 31029 478-994-9600 www Fors~hGAInsurance corn " CA LEBERRYJ r I ,=Drnn't l ,m ,mt I StateFarm J Steve Osborne, I IOP[RII[SrEALtyPL US cFi pD l T i Tires Auto Repair Tire, Auto Repairm / Agent I If it's round, rubber, If it's round, rubber, ate VickJq. S ith " [ 80 MLKJr Drive J androlls, wesellitt androlls, wesellit! eroker (478) 747 7743 I' 76 East Johnston Streets~.z41 / Forsyth, G~ I 8523 Rivoli Road 109 Patrol Road uroKer- "" B bbyLeeSmJthJs28 I www'r binsfcu' rg 6 h "/ 478"994"1041 'l Bolingbroke, GA Forsyth, GA (478) 731-3 | (478) 994-4700 (478) 994-6334 478-4114-9138 Central Georgia EMC Cory McCook, Owner "l'~lUdl~lolic Energy~ (]i.~{~c~ive ~ 800-222-4877 iI, # II FIRED- Continued from Front until a county manager replace- ment can be hired. In the mean- time, Tapley said citizens who need the help of a county manager are asked to call the county's main office, and they will be directed to blamed the 2016 errors on the county's new financial software. Tapley said a software glitch did not cause the latest underpay- ments. District 1 commissioner Larry Evans was particularly troubled by the matter, saying he gave strict instructions to Buice and Wooley after investigating last year's IRS December 2012). ' shley was not sufficient as finance director, and I've been try- ing to tell this board that for a very long timd' Buice said. Commissioners interviewed" three candidates for finance direc- tor in March and later offered one of them the job, but the candidate turned the county down. Com- a county commissioner who can mishap for the two to produce missioners have subsequently assist them. paper printouts of payroll tax pay- re-advertised the position. Despite Tapley, who has served as chair- ments, which are paid electroni- this, Evans blamed Buice for the man for nearly a year-and-a-half, cally, going forward. When Evans personnel shortage, noting that it said of Buice's demotion, "This is the toughest dedsion I've had to make since I've been herd' Tapley also said the county intends to contract out the vacant county manager and finance director positions with private companies in the interim. During Monday's meet- ing, commissioners expressed displeasure with Buice for failing to provide adequate oversight of Wooley given that the county paid out more than $150,000 in penal- ties for underpaying payroll taxes for fiscal year 2016. Buice said the most recent errors, which were believed to have occurred in 2017 and 2018, could result in $57,000 in penalties. Buice and Wooley asked Buice ffshe had viewed any paper printouts since last August when Evans publicly recom- mended it, she said she had not until three weeks ago when she asked Wooley to provide them and Wooley failed to do so. Buice then blamed the short- age of personnel in the finance department, which for more than a year has been Wooley alone, as a major cause of the contin- ued mistakes. Buice said she has been telling commissioners for more than a year that the counfy needed a new finance officer with Wooley sliding back into an as- sistant role (Wooley has served as the interim finance officer since was Buice's decision in 2017 not to replace former finance assistant Brandi McPipkin, who was shift- ed to the purchasing department, with another finance assistant. With commissioners' approval, Buice instead re-assigned recre- ation assistant Suzanne Schultek to the administrative office, saying there were other needs than finance at the time. "I don't make those changes. This board niakes those changes; Buice said in an agitated tone. "I made a recommendation, and this board accepted it." Buice said she expected that Wooley could handle paying the payroll taxes and admitted she 4 was lax in her approach to finan- cial matters. "That's my failure was trusting" However, Evans said Buice's assignment of blame to Wooley wasn't sufficient for him. Evans said, "You don't take any- body's word about no money:' At one point Buice urged com- missioners to move forward, not- ing that Forsyth-based accounting firm Hopkins & Associates would be assisting with the finance department in Wooley's absence. However, she also noted the need for two employees in finance looking ahead. Buice said, "We can spend a lot of time go'rag over what hap- pened, but time is of the essence to move forward into getting this straight:' Some commissioners weren't in the mood to gloss over the mistakes. Evans said he's urged Buice to cross-train employees, which hasn't Occurred, and said errors with county finances were a bigger problem than any other type of miscue. Evans said, "The most impor- tant component of the function of this office and this county is the money. We can't function without money" District 3 commissioner George Emami also took umbrage with Buice's complaints, saying Buice didr/t make dear to commission- ers the severity of the county's financial situation. Emami said to Buice: "Ewe had known that we were in danger , of this happening again, in two I seconds I would have voted to ) hire you some support staff or something" District 2 commissioner Eddie b Rowland appeared to side with 4 Evans and Emami, reading aloud a statement in last year's county audit in which auditing firm <' Mauldin & Jenkins instructed "' r the administrative office to take '" corrective action in implementing ; controls to ensure the timely pay- ment of payroll taxes. In contrast, District 3 commis- sioner John Ambrose was more ;, sympathetic to Buice and Wool- " ey's plight. ,: Ambrose said, "We all knew we were short. Ashley was set up in a ? [ position to fail. And I take blame ,: inthe fact that we (commission- ers) didn't get some help in there",:, i