I reached out to the county and asked for information about the things Cordelli wrote about.
The following are the answers to those questions directly from the people at the county who have the real answers and information: ( bold are the verbatim lines from Cordelli's statements in the Granite State News)
"At the county, the (budget)process begins with a wish list from departments and no guidance from the commissioners."
False. Since 2015 with the hiring of the County Administrator, he and the Finance Director meet with the dept. heads in August and go over their budgets They review current budgets and discuss what we expect and what % of an increase they will accept, for the new budget. Then they start the process of putting their budgets together. In late September, they meet again as a group and review where everyone is in the process, they set deadlines and go over what they have so far. In early October, they again sit down with each department head and go over the budget again, and either reduce or increase as needed. Then in October and November They present the budgets to the Commissioners, along with the department heads again. The Finance Director and County Administrator know the budget very well by the time it gets to the Commissioners as is their job and they are always engaged with the department heads and with the budget, from start to finish and then throughout the year.
"There needs to be better financial information available to all in the county government and to you. "
First thing you need to do is ask for the information. It is there for anyone who seeks it. Our delegation members do not control the county, but some think they should micro- manage it. The administrative team offer anyone as much information as they need or require, all they have to do is ask. Most, including Glenn Cordelli, never ask. Those who do ask are informed.
"Two years ago, the delegation had a performance audit conducted of the administration and business office. The basic finding was that "basic financial controls were not in place." We need to re-examine their recommendations"
Completely false. This one really irked me as well as our county staff. It is extremely inaccurate. It goes right to the fact that he has no working relationship with county staff or commissioners.
The county has taken that performance audit and have worked very hard to incorporate what was recommended in the audit. They have put 15 new financial policies into place, a dept. head internal policy manual and many other non-financial policies as there were very few to none in place prior to our County Administrator arriving. He has also accomplished many other items in that audit.
Most striking from Cordelli's comment above is that he never asked them about what has been accomplished. He would rather throw out to the public that nothing has been accomplished, than to ask questions and accurately inform the public. Our County Administrator utilized that audit as his goals and objectives for moving Carroll County forward. Here are the 15 policies put in place by our County Administrator since 2015:
Dept. Head Internal Policy Manual
Approved New Vendor Form
Cell Phone Policy
Slip, Trip and Fall Policy
Public Comment Policy
"Do you know that county department heads have no access to the financial system? They have to devise their own means to track revenue and expenditures."
He is correct on this, but he also fails to mention that he has voted 4 years in a row to not fund a fiber optic line on the complex, that would allow all department heads access to the finance software. Why? He voted ideology instead of the needs of the county. This year they were able to get enough votes to allow this to happen, but he fought against it every step of the way. All of the buildings have been stand-alone separate entities. Currently, fiber was run this summer connecting all of our buildings and they are finishing up the internal connections and by the end of this year all 4 buildings will be able to talk to one another. They have 3 separate phone banks, 3 separate everything. How does this make sense in a world with advanced technology? In a few weeks they will advance into the 21st century, despite Cordelli's opposition.
" Do you know that departments use credit cards and even Paypal for purchases? There is no centralized purchasing – every department is on their own."
This is also completely false. Each dept. is not on their own. They have purchasing in the nursing home, who purchase for the jail, and other departments as well. They are looking at centralized purchasing for the entire county. Ken Robichaud, our County Administrator, established centralized purchasing in Strafford County 13 years ago, but when you are not connected to one another it makes it more difficult to issue PO’s and such. Once all buildings are connected, this will enable them to do so much more on the complex. Amazon Prime is used due to considerable savings. They can save more from Amazon than from some of their suppliers. The purchaser in Mountain View Community ( our nursing home) reviews pricing all the time looking for the best savings. They also utilize the state contracts as well.
There are no conspiracies going on at the county, no one is stealing money. The county is in a much better position financially and is being run by professional managers now. Let’s stop the witch hunt, and just move forward and end the continued roadblocks. The County Convention has certain powers, those powers do not allow them to run the county or make any management decisions on how the county is managed, that is left up to the Commissioners, and they assign that to our County Administrator. The county is moving forward and the staff deserves the support of the delegation, not constant criticism.