The Maury County Commission Monday voted 18 to 4 to create a county audit committee in line with statewide recommendations. An Adhoc Committee was appointed that would establish guidelines. County Commission Chairman Scott Cepicky, Mayor Jim Bailey and Commission Budget Committee Chairman Tom Primm were named to the committee.
The state audit of the Maury County budget is done each year but this year the one finding that prompted debate was where the Landfill Director sold scrap metal at a penny a pound to his brother’s recycling business in Mt..Pleasant. Some people questioned whether it could have been sold for more. Last year with metal prices on the increase, the county got a competitive bid of 81/2 cents according to Mayor Bailey. Other finds also were briefly mentioned.
During the public comment, Trisha Stickel said there are a lot of questions. “We were told the county and budget committee could over see it. We need another set of eyes on the system,” said Stickel.
County resident Doug Williams said the county got slammed in the audit. He asked if the audit had not caught it how long it would have gone on.
Mayor Bailey said the sales practices were raised with state officials. Bailey said they fully examined it and found no evidence of fraud. The Mayor said a governmental advisory group, found it was not improper to sell it to his brother.
Budget committee Chairman Tom Primm said 2 out of 3 years they were better off selling scrap out of the convenience center rather than trucking it off at 6 to 7 cents a pound. “We didn’t get as much money as we spent,” said Primm
“Was it a smart business practice, no probably not,” said Mayor Bailey. “ I told Mr. (Mike) Sweeney (Landfill Director) to investigate every possible alternative. No one in Maury County wanted scrap.”
“We’re talking about unprocessed scrap,” said Bailey. The Mayor said just recently they got a bid of 8 ½ cents.
“If ever there was a time we need an audit committee, its now” said Commissioner Debbie Turner. Turner called on the commission to take the state’s recommendation to create an audit committee.
The Maury County Commission now will wait on the committee to return with a proposal to continue discussion