Basehor City Council sticks with tougher audit at extra cost of $9,000
The city of Basehor will continue to use a more stringent but more expensive method of accounting in its annual external financial audit after a split vote by the Basehor City Council on Monday night.
The council approved, 3-2, an external audit for the 2011 fiscal year that will be compliant with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), at a cost of $17,900. Members David Breuer and Travis Miles opposed the motion.
The firm performing the audit — Lowenthal, Webb & Odermann of Lawrence — also offered the option of a less rigorous cash-basis audit, at the cost of about $9,100.
Council member Iris Dysart said the GAAP-compliant system of auditing had served the city well in recent years.
“We've done this for five years, and I would like to stay with it,” she said.
Miles distributed to the other council members a survey he'd conducted on the matter, using information from 2009 and 2010 posted to the state of Kansas' website (available in the meeting's agenda packet here). He had sampled about 25 percent of the incorporated cities in Kansas, he said, and Basehor had the smallest population of any city to use a GAAP-compliant audit. Basehor was also the only one of 93 third-class cities in the sample to use a GAAP-based audit.
According to the survey, the city of Bonner Springs does use a GAAP-compliant audit, while Tonganoxie uses a cash-based audit.
Miles said he'd prefer the city to save the roughly $9,000 it would cost to perform the GAAP-based audit.
Dysart noted that many of the third-class cities listed had much smaller populations than Basehor.
Former city council member Jim Washington, speaking during the public-comment portion of the meeting, said he'd long advocated for the city to use the more stringent GAAP-based audit after a former city employee, Jennifer Srubas-Willis, was convicted in 2003 of misuse of public funds and forced to pay the city $15,000 in restitution.
Council member Fred Box said the “turmoil” currently going on in the city was one reason to stick with its current auditing system.
“Everybody knows what's going on,” Box said. “I think right now we ought to keep the GAAP audit.”
Also at Monday night's meeting, the council:
• Directed, 5-0, city staff to continue preparing for an annexation of Leavenworth County Sewer District No. 3 and to prepare a report on the matter in time for the council's work session in June 2012.
Interim city administrator Lloyd Martley said the staff would need at least about six months to prepare the report, which the city would need to send to the Leavenworth County Commissioners to begin the process of annexing the sewer district south of town.
Several more steps, including a vote of property owners in the sewer district, would still be necessary after the submission of the report for the annexation to become final. In October, council members agreed to reduce sewer district residents' sewer connection fees by about $1,000 each when annexation was complete.
• Entered into two 15-minute executive sessions, citing attorney-client privilege, with city attorney Shannon Marcano, Martley and Mike Seck, an attorney representing the city's liability insurance provider.
• After a public hearing, approved, 5-0, a 2011 budget amendment for the city's solid waste fund, increasing the fund's budgeted expenditures to $280,000 from $209,000. City clerk Corey Swisher said earlier this month that the fund's revenues would allow for the increased expenditures.
• Approved, 5-0, the renewal of a liquor license for Shorty's Liquor and Party Shop and a cereal malt beverage license for Casey's General Store, a resolution supporting the Basehor PRIDE organization, a mutual emergency aid agreement with the city of Lansing, a resolution establishing city boundaries and a municipal court services contract with the Leavenworth County Probation Office for 2012, all as part of the consent agenda.
This story has been changed to correct the identity of the additional attorney who attended the council's two executive sessions.