A Cumberland City Council member wanted answers concerning the city’s finances during the panel’s recent meeting.
Council member Yvonne Gilliam asked why a change in the bookkeeping method approved by council in March had not been done.
“We’ve got a transfer… into the payroll account that we shouldn’t even have,” said Gilliam.
Council voted to discontinue the payroll account at the March regular meeting. Mayor Carolyn Elliott explained why this had not been done.
“We have to have the payroll account because of the IRS,” said Elliott.
Gilliam disagreed with Elliott’s explanation.
“Actually, that’s not true,” said Gilliam. “The IRS doesn’t care.”
Elliott referred the question to an employee of the city clerk’s office who stated the IRS had told them they needed to keep such an account.
“The IRS requires that you give them figures on all your employees,” said Gilliam. “But for our figures, they don’t care.”
Gilliam stated the financial reports presented were hard to understand.
“This is the same bookkeeping that’s been going on for years and years,” said Elliott. “Nothing has changed.”
Gilliam disagreed, stating the finances were hard to trace.
Elliott suggested tabling the matter until the next meeting so city Clerk Robin Smith, who was not present at the meeting, could explain the report in detail.
“We can’t go on like this,” said Gilliam. “We’ve got to know where this money is.”
Gilliam also noted that overtime for city workers had not been reduced as much as expected. Elliott explained that overtime was only approved in emergency situations.
“It gets frustrating,” said Gilliam. “Every month we come here, we ask why it’s like this. We want it changed… I just wonder why we have a council here if we can’t get something done.”
Gilliam made a motion to table the financial statements. The council approved the motion with no objections.
Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161 or on Twitter #joe_hde