Positions on two new committees aimed to prevent a reoccurrence of the Tooele County’s recent financial troubles have been filled.
Tooele County Commissioners approved appointments to the audit committee and the budget advisory board at their Oct. 15 meeting.
The audit committee consists of five certified public accountants with backgrounds in both public and private accounting.
The audit committee members include: Brent Ray, who works as an audit senior for Deloitte & Touche; Ryan Liddell, a certified public accountant with eight years of accounting experience including five years in preparing, reviewing and auditing financial statements with Ernst & Young; and Edwin van Stam, a CPA with five years of public accounting experience and three years of controller and CFO consulting experience in private industry.
Also appointed to the audit committee are Greg Bleazard, a CPA with nearly a decade of experience in public accounting and three years of experience working for a city government; and John Adams, a shareholder in the Logan-based accounting firm of Cook Martin Poulson, P.C.
The audit committee’s job is to help the commissioners understand and interpret financial statements and audit reports.
The committee will assist in preparing for the annul audit of the county budget and will review the audit results with external auditors and the county commissioners.
The audit committee will also act as an external independent contact for whistle-blowing and initiate investigations if needed.
The audit committee will meet at least twice a year, once to review the audit plan and once to review the audited financial statements.
A date has not been set for the first audit committee meeting.
The budget committee members include: Tooele County Recorder Jerry Houghton, who will represent non-county commissioner elected officials; Wayne Anderton, the Utah Public Employees Association chairman for the Tooele County employees chapter, representing county merit employees; Rod Thompson, Tooele County Roads department director, representing non-elected department heads; and Dean Johnson, area president and branch manager for Zions Bank, representing the business community.
Other members from the community on the budget advisory board include Larry Shumway, former Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction and former Superintendent of Tooele County School District; Jake Jacobson, a certified public manager who has worked for the state of Utah for 18 years and is a former small-business owner and contractor; Cody Deeter, vice-president of Lewis Young Robertson, and Burningham, a Salt Lake City-based municipal financial advisory and consulting firm; David Gibby, environmental manager for U.S. Magnesium and a former member of the Tooele County Planning Commission; and Toby Lee, a senior financial specialist for Fidelity Investments and a former accounting manager for Anderson Lumber Company.
The budget advisory board’s duties will include reviewing fiscal policies and procedures, reviewing proposed departmental budgets, and acting as a point of contact for citizen budget and financial concerns.
The board will meet at least five times a year, including quarterly meetings to review budget reports, and once in October to discuss the budget for the coming year.
The first meeting of the budget committee has not been determined.
In late summer the commissioners announced the creation of the audit and budget committees to provide public oversight of the county’s budget. The budget has suffered cash flow shortages, which triggered massive employee layoffs, elimination of several county departments and closing of facilities over the past year.
The budget trouble also resulted in the county commissioners raising the county’s portion of property taxes by 66 percent for the first time in 27 years.