Commissioner wants grand-jury related items

Published 5:52 pm Saturday, January 4, 2014

Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson is asking for copies of written documents related to the preparation of the Beaufort County grand jury’s reports that are presented to the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

The grand jury regularly submits such reports to the board. Richardson also wants documentation of all assistance any county staff members provide to the grand jury in preparing its reports to be made public along with the grand jury’s report. One duty of the grand jury is to inspect the county’s jail, observe conditions and report on its observations.

Richardson plans to present his requests in the form of a motion during the board’s meeting Monday, according to the tentative agenda for the commissioners’ meeting. He also wants commissioners present when the grand jury inspects the jail, something he’s talked about in the past.

The tentative agenda shows Richardson also wants to discuss powers of the board’s chairman, the recording of jail committee meetings and budget matters.

Also on the tentative agenda is a report of the audit of the county’s 2012-2013 fiscal-year books. Crystal Waddell Robert with the accounting firm of Martin Starnes & Associates is scheduled to make that report. The audit determines if the county complied with accepted accounting procedures for local governments and regulations regarding federal and state funding received by the county.

The audit also provides details regarding the county’s fiscal health, including the county’s fund balance (rainy-day fund). The N.C. Local Government Commission recommends a local government’s fund balance should be at least 8 percent of its general fund, which is roughly equivalent to a month’s operating expenses. Sometimes, a local government dips into its fund balance to pay for unexpected expenses that may occur as the result of unforeseen events such as natural disasters.

The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners meets at 5 p.m. Monday in Room 111 of the Beaufort County administrative offices, 121 W. Third St., Washington. The meeting is open to the public.



About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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