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.