Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Newly elected Andrews Town Council members were sworn in at the same time two new police officers were introduced at the January Andrews Town Council meeting.
An auditor also reported on the town’s basic financial statements for a four-year period, 2009-2012.
Mayor Rodney Giles introduced the newly-elected council members, Sudha Patel, Eddie Lee and David Tisdale, who took the oath of office.
Sudha Patel said this is an opportunity to serve Andrews. “I’m glad for this leadership opportunity to serve Andrews and I want to assure citizens that the seat I have filled belongs to the people, it’s not my seat,” she said.
Eddie Lee said he worked in the Andrews police department for more than 20 years. “What I tell you comes from the heart, I’m color blind, I don’t see no color, I love everybody.”
Auditor Jack Georger reported on the basic financial statements for the years ended June 30, 2009, 2010, 2011 and a qualified opinion on the basic financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2012.
“We identified the following deficiencies we considered to be material weaknesses: internal control over accounts receivable, (2009-2012); lack of adequate capital asset and infrastructure records, (2009, 2010, 2011) and internal control over financial reporting, prior period adjustments, 2009,” he said.
He explained material weaknesses were noted in the Town of Andrews controls and they ran into no difficulties regarding the audit. He did emphasize the water and sewer troubles need a new system. “In the long term approach the billing system for your water and sewer has to be taken care of,” he said, adding, “that’s the first need as this is the biggest risk right now.”
According to Georger, the water and sewer enterprise fund, for operating revenues growth from 2009 to 2012 went up about $3,000 while operating expenses have gone down but it still has an operating loss every year of about $2,000. He said there are two ways to increase it, either raise charges or add customers.
Georger pointed out the good thing is the net worth from 2009 has gone from $330,852 to $1.2 million. Most of that has been in the general fund and there is a special revenue fund, where you generally speaking, are required to spend that money.
“In 2012 you had a special revenue fund of approximately $8,000, that money is grant money received and is restricted and can only be used for the purpose the money was received for,” he said.
When you look at the revenues from 2009 to 2012, he said, “you have grown from $1.9 million to $2 million in revenues, which hasn’t grown significantly.”
Meanwhile Andrews Police Chief Joseph Cooper introduced two officers recently hired to the Andrews Police Department, Officer Graham and Officer Tindle. “They both are exceptional officers,” Cooper said. There are currently nine total police officers.
Andrews Town Administrator Muretta Dorsey talked about a program called the VITA Program, through the United Way, which needs volunteers to help with assistance with tax returns. She said there is free training and no prior training is necessary.
Dorsey also said on January 20 at 1 p.m. at the Police Station there was to be a Martin Luther King march. And she said the Trinity Christian Academy will host a 5K Fun Run on February 15 at 10 a.m. through the town of Andrews.
With regard to employment, Dorsey noted the town will be looking to hire two people in public works and St. James-Santee Medical Center will be looking to hire seven to eight people at its new location on South Morgan Avenue.
Gail Soles, the mother of Crystal Gail Soles, who was last seen on January 24, 2005, reminded people this is the month her daughter went missing. She asked people to keep her daughter in your prayers.
“I’m asking for action on her case, maybe with the new town council and new chief of police, we’ll get somewhere,” she said.
Angela Anderson thanked everyone for her new position as Mayor Pro Tempore.
Mayor Rodney Giles, Angela Anderson, Patsy Greene, Mattie McGee, David Tisdale, Eddie Lee and Sudha Patel were in attendance.