City Finance Officer terminated

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by Ross DuBray/WRE Editor

Tensions ran high on January 8, at Eagle Butte’s first regular city council meeting of the year.   
According to Mayor Stephanie Davidson, City Finance Officer Sheila Ganje had been terminated on December 27, 2013.
Although no specific reason was cited, Davidson did say there were a number of factors that led to her decision to terminate Ganje.  
Much discussion on personnel issues was held at Wednesday’s meeting behind closed doors in executive session. In two separate instances, the council asked the mayor to leave the room.
At the end of the meeting City Maintenance Superintendent Jon Ganje requested to confer with only the six-member council in executive session without Davidson. After nearly a half hour the doors opened and city council board president Dale McCrea asked to read a statement where he resigned his position on the council and walked out of the meeting.
“I am tired, I am worn out, and I have had enough. I am therefore resigning my position and my seat effective immediately,” read McCrea from his statement.
One motion was presented on the floor by Councilwoman Wanda Lind to appoint Assistant Finance Officer Laura Ward to acting City Finance Officer. However no second was made and no action was taken on the motion.
Donna Denker of Donna Denker & Associates presented to the city council the 2011 Auditor report for fiscal year 2011. Denker reported that the city had two material weaknesses in their findings along with two significant deficiencies. It was found that official meeting minutes were not prepared and retained for part of 2011 along with not being reported in the local newspaper. The findings were a continuation from 2010. It was noted however that there was significant improvement from the previous year.
The second weakness occurred in the city’s continued holding of common stock that the city had received after the former healthcare provider demutualized leaving stock which at the time in 2011 was valued at $61,672. (The value had dropped from $81,628 in 2010). State law prohibits municipalities from holding on to certain type of stocks including the type that Eagle Butte maintains. It was recommended from the 2010 audit along with the 2011 that these funds be liquidated into a public depository.
The two significant deficiencies showed that the city had not passed a budget prior to the start of the fiscal year. The report showed that the city had adopted a budget that matched the revenue and expenditures at the end of the year, not in compliance with the state budget statutes.
The second finding was that the golf course revenue was not recorded daily and was deposited into a separate bank account. At the end of the year, the funds in the separate account were transferred into the city bank account in one lump sum. The finding stated that without timely reconciliation and proper deposit there is the potential for misappropriation of funds.
It was reported that the 2012 audit is being initialized and the 2013 budget reports were to be submitted by January 29, 2014.
A change order from DGR for the water meter project in the amount of $2,475.71 was approved.
Mayor Davidson reported that the signatory card at the State Bank of Eagle Butte needed to be changed. A motion was passed adding Davidson to the card.
Police Department
Eagle Butte City Police Chief Norman Schuller reported that 
The bulletproof vests had been received and just waiting on the paper work for reimbursement
the speed trailer has been ordered and waiting on delivery.
no update on the COPS grant which the city had applied for.
the police blazer had broke down and that it is in Faith getting looked at.
Liquor Department
Liquor store Manager RJ Joens reported:
the year-end inventory had been completed. 
New furnace has been installed its just waiting to be wired for power.
Maintenance Department
Maintenance Superintendent Jon Ganje reported:
There had been an accident with his work truck and that it is currently in Rapid City getting repaired. 
One of the new plow trucks was taken to Rapid City to get looked at and had corrected an issue with the hydraulics which was being fixed under warranty.
He had renewed his mosquito spraying certification in Pierre.
On January 29 and 30, 2014, city water staff will be receiving training with the electronic water meter collection.
Finance Department
Assistant Finance Officer Laura Ward 
Presented information from KT Connections on off-site record and document backup.
Reported that there were invoices to DGR outstanding in the amount of $300,000 and that every 30 days the city is incurring a 1% late fee. Since October, near $4,000 in interest has accumulated.  Ward stated that these invoices are project related and should be reimbursed to the city, however two invoices totaling approximately $34,000 will not be reimbursed.  A motion was made to pay the smaller two amounts.

Instead of the news brief only, we are running the full version of this story here, since we inadvertantly left off in the print edition the portion now marked in green. The missing piece will be in the following print edition. For the full length meeting in podcast form, click here.

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