Monday, July 20, 2009

Centralilzed Accounting Fails to Pass

A majority of the Putnam County commission voted Monday night to centralize the accounting for county government. But a motion to adopt the 1981 County Financial Management Act still failed because it takes a two-thirds majority, not a simple majority. After more than an hour of debate, fourteen commissioners voted in favor of the act, ten voted against. It would have taken sixteen yes votes to gain passage. Under the act, the county would have hired a chief financial officer and would have consolidated all of its bookkeepers into one department. Proponents say that such a move would save the county money. But those against it included a Tennessee Tech accounting professor. Dr. Richard Rand told the commission that he believed adopting the act would actually make accounting practices in the school system less efficient. Schools director Dr. Kathleen Airhart agreed, saying that specialized training is needed to keep up with all of the legalities involved with education funding. The issue could potentially be brought back up again, but -- even if it passed -- could not go into effect until at least July of 2011.