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Coaldale councillor questions council’s cheque approval procedures

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Sunny South News

Coun. Hohm asks why they’re approving cheques after the fact

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

How to best approve cheques was a topic of interest at a recent Coaldale town council meeting.

During Coaldale town council’s regular Oct. 30 meeting, coun. Roger Hohm question if they should be approving cheques after the fact.

While council was reviewing the October 2017 Cheque Listing, Hohm asked why they needed to approve the cheques, considering how they’ve already been mailed out.

“These cheque runs, I’m going to make the broad assumption that all of these cheques have been written and sent out,” said Hohm, addressing administration, to which he received confirmation.

“So for council to be approving the cheque run, would be us approving the Copperheads hockey game, the final score last week. It’s already done, there’s nothing that we can do with it anyways.”

Hohm then said that he would like to make a motion that, in the future, council just receives the cheque listings for information.

“It’s a bit of a waste of council’s time when we’re approving something that’s already been written, and if we didn’t approve it, what are we going to do? Ask for everybody to send their cheques back?”

Hohm said that to him, having all the cheques thrown at then like this was like them doing a cheque to see if they “trust administration to follow our purchasing policies” and so on.

In his view, if council couldn’t trust administration, “why do we have them?”, and didn’t see why they should “waste council’s time” on it.

“I don’t think you can legally do that,” said coun. Henry ‘Butch’ Pauls.

“You have to. Even if you are in Gem of the West (Society), you have to look at the cheques. The board has to approve it somewhere. I mean, you don’t have to vote on it, you just have to say yes, we’ve looked at it, thank you very much. But we’re responsible for that, whether you like it or not.

Mayor Kim Craig said he would “feel better about it”, if they got an expert opinions on the matter.

Town CAO Kalen Hastings said that they could cheques with auditors in regards to the type of motions council would have to make pertaining to the information.

“I’m fine with that, but I would be very surprised if somebody, some opinion would come back saying, “Yes, you actually have to approve cheques that have already been written and cashed and gone someplace’,” said Hohm.

“That to me makes no sense.”

Coun. Briane Simpson said that she can understand what Hohm said about approving cheques that have already been run, but she didn’t feel comfortable not seeing the cheque listing at all.

Coun. passed a split vote to table the matter until their next meeting 5-2, with coun. Jacen Abrey and Bill Chapman voting against the motion.

Council then passed a unanimous motion for request administration to look into the motions needed for cheque listings and report back to council.

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