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Mon, Oct 20, 2014 09:04 AM
Issue of October 15, 2014
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Spencer Twp. audit reveals inefficiencies

State Board of Accounts finds no criminal activity

March 12, 2014 | 08:44 AM

An audit completed in January revealed the Spencer Township (Frenchtown) Community Center Fund was overdrawn in 2011 and 2012 by amounts of $2,115 and $3,252 respectively.

The State Board of Accounts audit states that the cash balance of any fund may not be reduced below zero. Routinely overdrawn funds could be an indicator of serious financial problems which should be investigated by the governmental unit, it said.

The community center used to be home to the LifeSpan Resources senior meals program until it was terminated last October.

A petition to substantiate the fact that Spencer Township Trustee Donald Satterfield is incapable of performing the duties of township trustee was filed by Phyllis M. Patterson and Belinda K. Smith in October with the Harrison County Circuit Court.

A bench trial date was set last month for April 17, allotting a three-hour window for witnesses, concerning the case of the People of Spencer Township vs. Spencer Township Trustee Donald Satterfield. It will begin at 9 a.m.

While the audit shows a number of inefficiencies, no criminal/illegal activity was found.

Other audit findings concluded: transactions were not always posted timely; there were a considerable number of posting errors; checks and receipts were not always recorded in the proper amounts; interest was not always posted; and ledger balances were not properly totaled and balances not properly carried forward.

Monthly depository reconciliations of the fund balances to the bank account balances for the period Jan. 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2012, were not performed until November 2013.

The annual reports for 2010, 2011 and 2012 contained errors in the reporting of receipts, disbursements and cash and investment balances.

Also, the township board meeting minutes for 2012 were also missing.

  1. print email
    March 13, 2014 | 09:32 AM

    Some people were so eager to accuse this township, its trustee, advisory board members, and family members of stealing/embezzlement. This should put these rumors to rest. I'm sure if you look into audits of other townships you will find other minor inefficiencies as well.
    Shame on these people and this paper for making such accusations and not reporting from all sides. You decided to be judge and jury without facts. I am not saying you should not have had concerns or checked it out, I'm just saying you don't put something out there to try to influence people without having facts. How would you feel if this had happened to you?

  2. print email
    March 13, 2014 | 10:31 AM

    "Monthly depository reconciliations of the fund balances to the bank account balances for the period Jan. 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2012, were not performed until November 2013."


  3. print email
    March 13, 2014 | 11:19 AM

    Bram no one said, not even this article, that there were not mistakes made. What is horrific is the accusation that monies were missing and that has been proven wrong. I find it heartbreaking that individuals can make these statements and not be held accountable. You would not like your character to be assassinated by untruths I'm sure!
    Being a small community we know how things can be talked about throughout the county. It's shameful what people have done to these people. I think apologies are in order, not for questioning as a voter or taxpayer has the right to do, but for the full on lies that were told about the stealing.

  4. print email
    In summary...
    March 13, 2014 | 11:32 AM

    ...the State Board of Accounts found sloppy bookkeeping, and not fraud and mismanagement. Problem with that is, the trustee and his deputy are the ones who are paid--and paid rather well--to make sure this bookkeeping is kept accurate and up-to-date. Maybe it's time for the township to elect someone who can and will keep the records up in a timely manner.

  5. print email
    March 13, 2014 | 04:42 PM

    Again no one is denying the mistakes however they were not accused of mistakes they were accused of theft. Even the article states that! And if you are looking to oust people on jobs for making mistakes then the unemployment lines would be really long. Everyone including yourself would be there and that includes every elected official...past, present, and future.

  6. print email
    March 13, 2014 | 05:28 PM

    what happened to all the people that plastered their name on everything and said annonymous peoples opinions don't matter. See a lot more annonymous people on here now.

  7. print email
    March 13, 2014 | 06:01 PM

    If you do not like people exercising their first amendment rights or questioning their government, maybe you should move to China/North Korea. You would fit right in.
    There are still questions that will never be answered...well answered honestly. ONE question would be...why did the taxpayers have to pay an accountant to "fix" the books. Is that not the job of the WELL OVERPAID Clerk?

    Fed up Taxpayer
  8. print email
    March 13, 2014 | 08:37 PM

    Sounds like you should move. You seem to think the government is all corrupt here. Since the state didn't find anything criminal.

  9. print email
    March 14, 2014 | 05:19 AM

    Minor problems, really, he has the duty to make sure that they dont happen. The audit show it was not minor. All minutes missing, etc. This is only for 3 years. He was paid for his job, but failed to get it done in a timely manner, also the account was over drawn ...

    Barry dixon
  10. print email
    March 14, 2014 | 07:56 AM

    Who wrote this article?

  11. print email
    March 14, 2014 | 12:36 PM

    Should be odvious. Look at what the title is. Then look how they wrote there wasn't criminal activity found.

  12. print email
    March 14, 2014 | 05:56 PM

    Mr. Dixon
    There was only one of the meeting minutes missing, not all as you have stated. Also the account that was overdrawn was the community center. This was due to high cost of electric bills. At the last annual report meeting it was said that the electric bills went from $600 down to $164. This was the reason the senior program sadly had to be cancelled. The cost of allowing it was draining the township.
    It is sad indeed that the program was cancelled at Frenchtown, but the program does indeed exist in Harrison County.

  13. print email
    March 15, 2014 | 04:13 AM

    I'd say the cost of all those high salaries was "draining the township."

  14. print email
    March 15, 2014 | 11:06 AM

    The senior program was not closed due to money. Individuals and organizations offered to donate money. The information supplied from the trustee did not show $600 electric bills.

  15. print email
    March 15, 2014 | 12:19 PM

    Lifespan gave the trustee s100 a month and covered the liability insurance. The Seniors were only there for about 50 or so hours a month. The SENIORS ARE THE ONLY VICTIMS in Spencer Township.

  16. print email
    March 15, 2014 | 12:41 PM

    The Seniors AND the taxpayers are the only victims in Spencer Township

  17. print email
    March 15, 2014 | 12:49 PM

    It's easy to sit in the cheap seats and criticize. Especially when one hasn't ever served in the position you are criticizing. Whoever is elected to the position of Spencer Twp. trustee may find out the hard way. Making a bunch of promises you are financially unable to keep will bite you in the back side.

  18. print email
    March 15, 2014 | 04:51 PM

    I think that the township should give the building to the fire department since it's sole purpose was built for that. It also takes it off the issue for the next trustee.

  19. print email
    March 15, 2014 | 06:27 PM

    As long as the incoming trustee keeps the community first... the community will come together and make it successful.

  20. print email
    March 16, 2014 | 11:09 AM

    Community first would be all the people not just one group. Now one comment said they were there for 50 to 60 hours a month. That would figure to three hours a day. So if you drove by they usually started getting there at 9:30 in the morning and were there until 2:30 or later. So that is 5 hours times 5 days and times 4 weeks that is 100. So if eletric went from 600 to 164. That doesn't include water and gas. So if the one small group doesn't get its way the community will never come together. As far as the salaries other trustees pay themselves for other things that are included here. So if you would add everything others make to their salary they would make more. Its just broke down different. Its interesting to see how things can be twisted.

  21. print email
    March 16, 2014 | 01:14 PM

    Are you calling Spencer Township one small group? I've not met one person who lives here who approves of the senior citizen being kicked out...or the salary of the trustee/clerk...or the 7K paid to an accountant to do the job of the clerk.

  22. print email
    March 17, 2014 | 06:58 PM

    So if the electric bill is down to $164.00 did they unplug the fire trucks.

  23. print email
    Amzing Posts
    March 17, 2014 | 08:03 PM

    I'm mystified by the amazing posts. Grow up people!

  24. print email
    March 18, 2014 | 11:43 AM

    Ask yourself this question. If you owned your own business and hired a bookkeeper to keep you books would you be ok with the fact that your business check book had not been balanced In 4 years?Would you be ok with the fact that decisions you made pertaining to your business were made on false balances? Maybe you would if this was your own PRIVATE business. If you were ok with poor record keeping and your business failed due to poor management of the finances thats your problem and would only affect you. These people are elected to run a township. Their decisions affect everyone in the township. It is not acceptable to read all the descrepencies found in this audit. Our community should be outraged! These are not just a few minor mistakes. These mistakes affected their decision making. The Advisory Board as well as Trustee and Clerk are responsible. In this case IRRESPONSIBLE!

  25. print email
    March 19, 2014 | 10:04 PM

    So out of the 1412 residents of Spencer township over 18 have you talked to? Or the 254 over 65? Looks like the township never could afford the meals program. Its not part of the budget. The salaries are.

  26. print email
    March 20, 2014 | 10:42 AM

    The salaries are more than double what they should be. Are you saying you agree with the salary. Not to mention the sloppy job we paid for? How about the 7K we had to pay an accountant to do the Clerk's job. PITIFUL

  27. print email
    March 20, 2014 | 12:10 PM

    There are trustees that make more if you add up everything they charge the township for. That the Satterfields include in their salary.

  28. print email
    March 20, 2014 | 05:22 PM

    oh no they didn't... good try

  29. print email
    March 21, 2014 | 12:12 AM

    What are the thousands and thousands of personal deductions?
    What about the $7,000 for an accountant to do the $ 8,000
    Why don't you just quit? The citizens of Spencer Township are outraged. Not just a few. Only a few turn their heads... shame on anyone who thinks anything about the trustee/clerk is ok

  30. print email
    March 21, 2014 | 12:17 AM

    that was ... what about the 7,000 paid to an accountant to do the clerk's $8,000 job?

  31. print email
    March 21, 2014 | 12:19 AM

    if you ask me... it's criminal. Like it or not...I have a right to my opinion.

  32. print email
    March 21, 2014 | 09:44 PM

    What about the trial? What is that costing taxpayers?

  33. print email
    March 22, 2014 | 09:45 AM

    Spencer Township will grow for the people after the election. The entitlement/political welfare stops NOW.

  34. print email
    March 23, 2014 | 11:40 AM

    Isn't entitlement what this all started over? What one small group thought they were entitled to.

  35. print email
    March 24, 2014 | 02:23 PM

    There is no small group. The majority of the community is outraged at the Trustee/Clerk. Rather you like it or not...we the citizens are entitled to look at those books and question our government at anytime we feel like it...PERIOD.
    Why did we have to pay an accountant $7000 to do the Clerk's job?

  36. print email
    March 24, 2014 | 04:37 PM

    I just have a question, but I don't want to be attacked by either side. Where did you see that the accountant was paid $7000? I can't find that. Thank you

  37. print email
    March 24, 2014 | 04:46 PM

    It's in the audit

  38. print email
    March 24, 2014 | 06:39 PM

    Sorry, the one in the audit is 6K (for last year.) Then the accountant that was at the meeting was 7K.

  39. print email
    March 24, 2014 | 06:53 PM

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