Benham names Silver city manager

Joe P. Asher Staff Writer

November 16, 2013

The city of Benham named resident Roy Silver city manager during a meeting Thursday.

Silver brought the council up to date on the state of the city’s books, pointing out some issues with previous administration’s records.

“The last time the books were really current was November of 2011,” said Silver. “With that, there are many gaps.”

According to Silver, these gaps in the financial records must be filled before an accurate accounting can be made.

Silver advised he, the Benham Power Board clerk and city clerk Jessica Smith had consulted a Quickbooks expert concerning the city’s financial records.

“They could pretty much guarantee our records would be good from this day into the future, but could make no guarantees about what was in the past because they are so incomplete,” said Silver. “He wanted to know if we would give them some assurance on the past records that there would be no liability there. Not to say that there was anything there to be liable about, but there are a lot of holes.”

Silver said there are checks that are not in sequence, deposits that are unclear, and assorted other missing information.

Silver mentioned the city is behind two years on audits, but the audits cannot be conducted until the books are in order.

“We haven’t had the audits for 2011 — 2012 and 2012 — 2013,” said Silver. “We need to get these books in order so we can have an audit.”

Silver also mentioned some discrepancies in the minutes regarding a loan the city took out from the Bank of Harlan in January of 2012.

“In the minutes it reads they were asking for a $45,000 loan,” said Silver. “The rationale that was given for it was the computers were down and they weren’t collecting money for three months and they needed a loan. The reality was that the loan was for $52,000 and they used the fire truck and the tennis court as collateral.”

Silver also told the council that an outstanding IRS debt of $58,000 could possibly be reduced by working with the IRS.

Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, jasher@civitasmedia.com