Joe P. Asher
The Cumberland City Council questioned Mayor Carl Hatfield concerning the financial report during a meeting on Tuesday. A city vehicle that had been sold as surplus was the subject of a heated discussion.
Council member David Dixon brought up the matter of the vehicle.
“It (the financial report) has surplus police car $100. We were supposed to have been paid $700,” said Dixon.
“Actually the car was $800 and there was $100 paid on it. For some reason payments were left to be paid that we didn’t agree to. It only shows here $100. So the car only sold for $200?” asked council member Charles Raleigh.
Mayor Carl Hatfield explained the circumstances behind the deal.
“The council member bought that car from us,” said Hatfield. “He paid $100 down with the agreement that he would not accept his $600 council pay. Then he paid the other $100.”
According to members of council, the transaction is not shown correctly in the report.
“The money should be shown under income that it came back in after the check was issued,” said Dixon.
“We didn’t issue the check,” explained Hatfield. “The money stayed in the general fund. The $100 you see there is his balance of the $800 he owed on the car.”
“How did the agreement come back to even let him pay payments?” asked Raleigh. “We were supposed to sell that for $800 cash.”
“He was without a car,” said Hatfield. “The city didn’t lose a dime.”
Council member Carolyn Elliot pointed out there could be some bookkeeping problems.
“You sold an item for $600, you only got $100,” said Elliot. “Somewhere in the books it should show that $500 has not been paid. You can’t just keep money in there without paying it out.”
“It’s going to look like the money was saved during the year,” said Raleigh. “You should have paid it out and put it back in.”
Dixon stated there could be problems during the next audit.
“The auditor’s going to come in here next January and show that we had a check for $600 that never came back,” said Dixon.
“It’s just a matter of record keeping,” said Elliot. “I don’t keep records at home like that, we sure shouldn’t do it in city hall.”
“I don’t know what you’re going to do about it, but like David said I believe it’s going to be caught by the auditor,” said Raleigh.
Hatfield said that the city did not lose any money.
“We’ve got records that show nobody profited from this deal,” said Hatfield.
In other council activity:
* Jim “Muggins” Bennett and Cleon Cornett were presented with the key to the city for their service to the city;
* A Motion was passed to adjust future meeting agendas to include sections for old business and new business;
* A motion was passed to replace the light bulbs in city hall.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org