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MENDOCINO Co., 9/15/22 — The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors asked tough questions about the county’s financial situation during a tense meeting Tuesday with Auditor-Comptroller/Treasurer-Collector Chamise Cubbison.

The conversation with Cubbison came a month after Supervisory Board Chairman Ted Williams told the August 2 BOS meeting that he had not seen a credible financial report in the three years of its mandate. During that meeting, the board unanimously decided to send a letter to the state comptroller for help with county finances, a move that was heavily criticized by Cubbison, initially reported KZYX.

The state comptroller, after meeting with county supervisors, determined that Mendocino County’s finances were a local issue that the board of supervisors needed to resolve with the county comptroller, Williams said at Tuesday’s meeting. The board crafted a list of questions and concerns to ask Cubbison, seeking clarification or a determination if action was needed on those points. Cubbison explained at the supervisors’ meeting that the items were briefly discussed with her in an ad hoc budget meeting just days before being presented to the board on Tuesday.

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She expressed frustration with the board’s rush to bring her concerns to a full meeting and push her and her already understaffed staff to work longer hours.

“I guess I’m concerned about the overall approach, I was presented with a draft on screen during a very brief ad hoc budget. At the time, I suggested and requested that ad hoc take the time to discuss some of these items with me before making them public,” Cubbison told supervisors. “You don’t listen to the information given at the various ad hoc meetings…you keep demanding that staff work longer and harder.”

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Cubbison said the ad hoc meeting took place last week. Williams, who sits on the ad hoc budget committee, told The Voice the meeting was on September 7.

The council asked Cubbison about the ability to generate monthly reports and balance sheets for county departments and projected revenues for the next fiscal year. Supervisors also detailed issues with the county’s accounting software, late county financial reports, and other issues on Cubbison’s office.

Williams asked Cubbison about the county financial transaction report, a document containing financial data that each county sends back to the state for comparison, which he said had not yet been filed with the state. . The state comptroller is aware that Mendocino’s financial transaction report will be late, Cubbison said. She said she was understaffed to compile the data and also noted that the state deadline did not change when the federal deadline was adjusted for submitting financial audits. The due date for all county financial transaction reports was Jan. 31, according to the notification letter sent to all county auditor-comptrollers in November 2021 by the state comptroller’s office.

The county may be subject to fines, Cubbison said, but she doesn’t know if or when the state can impose a fine.

“I’ve had two days to consider answering each of your questions,” Cubbison said in response to the board asking for potential fines. “The financial transaction has been delayed, we are trying to close the end of the fiscal year… everything is kind of broken.”

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Williams said the ad hoc budget committee sent an invitation to Cubbinson on September 6 to meet on September 7. At first she expressed her refusal, according to Williams, but when he asked if she could meet before Tuesday’s board meeting, she joined the Sept. 7 ad hoc group meeting.

At the supervisors’ meeting, neither knew the exact date the report was supposed to have been filed with the state.

The board also asked Cubbison about revenue projections for the coming fiscal year. The fiscal year began on July 1.

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“Some say the county is in a good financial position, we may have a net loss year over year, I don’t know, I won’t be surprised if it goes both ways,” Williams said. during a meeting.

Cubbison said she couldn’t answer questions about the upcoming fiscal year because her office is still working to finalize documents from the previous fiscal year.

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“Until we close the books, I don’t know what the postponement [from last fiscal year] will be. I think you have revenue forecasts, you have outside consulting firms that have given you forecasts,” Cubbison said. “But I don’t personally have a way at the moment to give you a crystal ball prediction for this next year.”

Cubbison has repeatedly urged the board to bring its concerns to an ad hoc committee so that his office can determine who is best placed to address those concerns and how they can move forward together.

The board asked Antle to review several items discussed at the meeting, including asking county departments to keep their financial records up to date. Antle told The Voice she didn’t know which departments were behind in filing financial records.

“As for departments that are consistently late, that’s something I’m going to follow up with. [Cubbison]“Antle told The Voice. “It was not brought to my attention.”

Cubbison did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.

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