Auditor: ‘You’re always going to control the debt’

Crete Trustee Dan Taylor questions Auditor Daniel Berg about the financial review process as Village Administrator Tom Durkin looks on. Photo credit: Dennis Sullivan

Crete Trustee Dan Taylor questions Auditor Daniel Berg about the financial review process as Village Administrator Tom Durkin looks on. Photo credit: Dennis Sullivan

by Dennis Sullivan
editor@ewcnews.com
May 23, 2014

Crete Village’s auditor said Thursday elected officials can help keep finances in order by looking for trends and aberrations.

Responding to a question from Trustee Dean Gaffney, Sikich LLC Partner Daniel Berg said trustees should monitor monthly finances, look at the bills list to “make sure the village is spending the money it anticipated” and question staff about spending.

“You’re always going to control the debt the village issues,” he said, referring to another function.

Responding to Trustee Dan Taylor’s question about a financial “threshold” related to best polices, practices and procedures, Berg said government bodies need a “go-to person to be sure you’re doing it right at the time.”

While Sikich has that capability, Berg drew a laugh likening his role to someone who arrives on the battlefield after the fighting and shoots the wounded. “We come in after the war, point out the mistakes and help you fix them,” he said.

Berg said Sikich, entering its third year as Crete Village’s auditor, has a specialization in governmental audits. Of the 37 audits he does annually, Berg said “all but one” are of tax-supported groups.

He agreed with Mayor Mike Einhorn that it’s difficult, if not impossible to compare one municipality with another because there are different ways to account for finances.

Berg noted that some municipalities include such as parks & recreation and libraries, in their municipal budget, while others may not include services such as fire and ambulance protection.

EASTCOM antenna
In other business, trustees unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the Eastern Will County Communications Center board to add a microwave dish to the top of the municipal water tower west-southwest of Crete-Monee High School during the “New Business” portion of the board meeting.

Village Administrator Tom Durkin said the top of the 110- to 120-foot-tall tower is currently home to other EASTCOM equipment.

The Crete water tower at Fire Station 2 hosts microwave antenna dishes for AT&T and Sprint cellular service. A freestanding tower in Crete Park serves microwave antenna dishes for U.S. Cellular and Verizon.

Lawn order
During his trustee’s report, Dan Taylor suggested the village develop “a registry of local lawn services” as part of a more aggressive approach to properties in need of mowing.

Einhorn said the village must approach occupied properties differently from unoccupied properties and stressed the importance of elected officials being “in sync” on the issue.

Responding to a question from Trustee Holly Milburn, Einhorn said the village could place liens on unoccupied properties for any work performed.

“People are buying these homes when they’re having those sales,” Einhorn said. “We shouldn’t be bashful about collecting those dollars” for work performed.

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Original material copyright 2014 Eastern Will County News; all rights reserved.

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