Editor’s Note: The following article, written by Brian Frazier, begins to dissect the latest scheme by Clallam County Commissioners seeking to gain all control of county money so as to avoid the messy prospect of the County Auditor and or the County Treasurer saying, “you cannot spend that money unless you do it by the book.” Commissioners seek to write their own book and keep those other pesky elected officials out of the loop. Here’s Brian’s take on it:
In reference to the Peninsula Daily News (PDN), July 18, 2018, “the board’s efforts to create a finance department”. Commissioner Peach said that; “the county currently doesn’t have a system that marries revenues and costs”. It appears that he left out the FACT that Clallam County Administrative Manual includes POLICY 502: Clallam County operates a comprehensive financial and property management system. The application is provided under contract with Eden Tyler Technologies and is known as EDEN.
“The system includes modules such as general ledger, accounts payable, accounts
receivable, purchasing, budget preparation, project accounting, fixed assets, inventory, human
resources, payroll, employee training, parcel manager, and special assessments.”
The purpose of this policy is to:
Establish guidelines for the administration of the County’s electronic financial system
Provide consistent methods and processes for accomplishing tasks within the financial
This EDEN system is also required in the Clallam County Administrative Manual under; GENERAL FINANCIAL POLICY 500, Section 9.3 Comprehensive Accounting System:
“A comprehensive accounting system will be maintained to provide all financial information necessary to effectively operate the County. All departments are required to utilize the accounting and financial systems designated by the Administrator”, (Budget Director/Financial Systems Administrator).
The commissioners “authorized” some departments to “utilize alternative accounting or financial systems” including budgetary systems that are NOT EDEN. WHY?
Why are “Departments authorized to utilize alternative accounting or financial systems, including budgetary systems” other than EDEN? Shouldn’t ALL departments be utilizing a single county system, EDEN?
In the July 20, 2018 PDN article; “The board has discussed the possibility of splitting the function of the county administrator into two positions: a county executive to oversee day-to-day operations and a chief financial officer who would oversee the budget”. They left out the FACT that the County Administrator’s “functions” are already split into two positions; The County Administrator and the Commissioners’ Budget Director/Financial Systems Administrator, who is assigned overall responsibility and authority for the EDEN financial system operations and security.
The Clallam County Home Rule Charter Article 4 Section 4.20: Powers and Duties
“All other elected officials shall exercise the powers and duties of their
respective offices as provided by law. All elected officials and their
departments shall utilize the personnel, budgeting, purchasing, property control
and records management systems established by the Commissioners through
ordinance.” That would be the EDEN comprehensive financial and property management system.
Why is Section 4.20, being deleted by the proposed Charter Amendment? WHY?
Since Clallam County already “operates a comprehensive financial and property management system, known as EDEN” and has a Budget Director/Financial Systems Administrator responsible for EDEN; Why not re-assign the Budget Director/Financial Systems Administrator and EDEN from the County Administrator to the Elected Auditor, Treasurer or Assessor, since they will still be personally and legally responsible for county assets and funds?
Why does the Board of Clallam County Commissioners, find the situation is so dire, that they need a Charter Amendment, to create the Department of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, before the Charter Review Committee meets in 2019? WHY?