EATON — Preble County Auditor Lavon Wright has been working on rolling out a new financial system for the county. During a Preble County Commission meeting on Monday, June 11, commissioners called Wright down to their office to discuss a change order for additional personnel and training at a cost of $5,400.
Wright read the request to the board, saying, “It will be used to have additional man hours in the office for payroll, time sheets, and human resources.”
“This is training for you and [Clerk Connie Crowell]?” Commissioner Denise Robertson asked.
Wright responded, “It is training in my office, but if she is needed out of the office she can be.”
Commissioner Chris Day asked, “Will this be the end of this?”
“I wouldn’t think so. I called Clark County about 25 minutes ago and they have had BS&A for three years now. They have them come back every six months to work with people out of the department and make sure there are no problems or issues going on. I think that is three days every six months,” Wright said.
“The first year though, they had them come back every three months for a week at a time, so they could work through the issues that we are having. They actually pay for additional amount, but I need peace of mind that things are running smoothly. We’re still having issues with vacation and sick time for the Sheriff’s Department. That is huge and we’ve never had them on in the office.”
“Bluntly, I need them, Chris,” Wright said. “I am the auditor, I am elected to be the auditor, it is my financial system, and I need the time. It is an important module to have. My goal is to be accurate in this county. If I am paying for it out of my own budget, I don’t know what the problem is.”
“Are we getting everything that we need?” Day asked.
“I am trying to get everything that we need,” Wright responded.
Day said, “Part of it is, they said they could get this up in a certain amount of time.”
“It doesn’t matter if they said that, we are a different bird here. We were a very antiquated system. We had the same 20-year system since 1998. It was a hard conversion and there have been a lot of issues. You are aware of them. For my peace of mind and to make sure we are doing things correctly, I need the time for my office,” Wright said.
“If I were to ask for it again, I would think that a financial system is the most important system in this county. If I don’t feel comfortable and I feel like things need to be fixed, I would feel like as commissioners it would be your first priority to make sure the auditor is comfortable. Now, we can point fingers and say they didn’t get things done, but regardless [I need this],” she added.
Day replied, “They are contracted on this.”
“They are not contracted to the additional payroll time and that is what I need,” Wright said.
“I am not disputing that, I am just trying to make sure they have done everything they were contracted to,” Day said.
Wright responded, they had, but she sees room for improvement. Day said, he is trying to make sure the company has fulfilled their obligation to the county.
“I am not a frivolous spender. I do not spend on anything extra other than what I need. That is my job as the auditor,” Wright said. “I am trying to get what I need. I am trying to do the best I can, I still need [the company’s] support. I call them daily.
“I am not trying to be defensive, but I feel like I need to plead my case. I need this time. I am just being honest. I may come back and ask for another change order. I have to be comfortable with this system. I want to make sure that things are accurate.”
Commissioners agreed to sign her transfer and approve the contract after commission staff drafted the necessary paperwork.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH