West Kittanning council rejects auditors' pay request
West Kittanning's auditors won't be getting paid as much as they asked for on Monday night.
Council unanimously refused to pay the auditors $1,657 for the 2013 audit, which included a $500 payment for each auditor, along with $157 for the 628 copies made during the auditing process.
Instead, the board agreed to pay each auditor a flat rate of $300.
Carol Augustine, chairwoman of the auditors, said each member of the three-person board put in 98 hours of work preparing the annual audit and charged 25 cents for each page, which were made on their personal printers.
The auditors include Augustine and Cheri Lindsay, who were elected in November, and Michael Holly, who was appointed in January.
Augustine said the three-person board primarily met in Lindsay's home, and each one used their own printers, ink and paper to produce copies. They marked their hours on a calendar, which she did not bring to the meeting.
Augustine said borough code allows auditors to charge up to $1,000 for their services.
The borough agreed to pay the auditors $300 each for the report and could have paid more if the auditors had approached council before submitting a bill, said Councilman Ken Trudgen.
Last year, the borough paid its auditors $300 each, he added.
“Any kind of increase has to come to and be approved by council. And, if the auditors want an increase, come to council before doing the audit,” Trudgen said. “We can't just let you set your own pay rate.”
Trudgen said the auditors, who told council to be sure to hold onto all receipts, did not provide council with any receipts for the 628 copies.
Before the audit began, Councilwoman Paula Henry said council instructed the auditors to contact borough secretary Carly Cowan to make any copies. They wanted to avoid being billed for any copies needed by the auditors, she said.
“We sent them an email explaining they needed to let us know if they needed copies,” Henry said. “Carly would have made any copies they wanted.”
In the audit, Augustine said they found a suspected $1,165 overpayment to a former borough employee and questioned how officials monitor employees' timecards. They questioned why officials paid sales tax on several occasions, when the borough is considered a tax-exempt entity.
The auditors wrote about the discrepancies and made several recommendations on how to fix them in a nine-page report they gave to council on May 7.
Henry said the report the auditors gave council contained a lot of personal opinions and suggestions on how the board should operate, instead of actual discrepancies.
Augustine said council's payment amounts to $5.12 per hour, which is below Pennsylvania's minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The auditors feel slighted and frustrated by council's actions and plan on taking further action, she said.
“I don't know what we're going to do, but we're definitely not done with it,” Augustine said. “We're just really upset and disappointed with council, and we're wondering if they actually read through the notes.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kittanning considers restricting dock access
- Armstrong Concert Band performing Saturday in Ford Cliff
- Kittanning firefighters set to muster up a good time in 125th year
- Annual Rural Valley festival kicks off Thursday
- Late afternoon fire destroys Manor home
- West Mahoning toddler run over by pickup truck