City audit paints Selma black

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

A just released audit of the city of Selma has pinpointed a number of irregularities in the city’s money-handling procedures.

Charles W. Polmatier, certified public accountant with Borland Benefield of Birmingham, explained the audit to City Council members Tuesday afternoon. The audit involved checking procedures as to how the city spends money. In the process, Polmatier said, procedures can be found lacking.

As an example, even a one-day delay posting a check in the city’s ledgers could lead to problems, Polmatier explained.

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He said the city also needed department heads to be more involved in the operating procedures and to provide the council with a written list of its assets, such as its motor vehicles. The list of assets would allow the council to better plan its purchases, he said.

He also cited problems in the day-to-day operations of the city, noting the operations weren’t always recorded properly. The city could fix the problems by putting the policies into writing, Polmatier recommended.

According to Polmatier, Selma had a deficit of $170,000 in its general fund &045;&045; one of 29 different governmental funds in the city’s treasury &045;&045;

but showed an excess of $66,000 in its governmental funds, overall.

The city’s 29 different governmental funds include a general fund, debt service, special revenue and capital project funds.

Chandler said Borland Benefield, which has performed Selma’s audit for the past three years, has never uncovered wrongdoing on the city’s part.