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January 28, 2013

New Albany bicentennial board to use private bookkeeper

Records and expenditures questioned for 2012 event

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

 

COMMISSION VERSUS COMMITTEE

Officials blamed some of the bookkeeping issues on lack of clarity as to whether an event organized by the Living History Committee was actually governed by the commission. 

Zoller said the commission didn’t approve a process for turning in claims and receipts until November, and that the standard has been adhered to ever since. 

England said the commission consists of volunteers who want to see New Albany’s 200th anniversary properly celebrated this year. She said there were questions in commission members’ minds over whether these events were associated with the Living History Committee or the bicentennial. 

“I think that’s basically where the confusion is,” she said. 

The commission was launched by her husband, former Mayor Doug England, and she said the intent of the body has always been to be inclusive when it comes to the bicentennial. 

“Every organization that has had an event with the bicentennial stamp, not all of those people by any means have given us money,” she said. 

 

PUBLIC FUNDING

The city council appropriated $50,000 for bicentennial events to be managed by the commission in October. The amount was initially set at $85,000 before being trimmed down prior to the final vote. 

The event funding is in addition to the money being spent on the New Albany Bicentennial Park. 

Caesar said that if approved, Rodefer Moss would be asked to perform an audit — likely this year — on the commission’s accounting to ensure correct procedures are being followed. 

Last year, multiple individuals from the commission spent their own money to reserve venues and pay for costs associated with bicentennial events, officials said. Accounting for public funds is being separated from private expenditures to help remedy any future issues, Caesar said. 

“Every person on the commission and every person on the committee has worked hard, and has really committed a tremendous amount of time,” Caesar said. “They’ve also spent a lot of money out of their own pockets just for things they wanted to get done.” 

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