The mystery of the North Carolina Water Rights Committee and how they fit in with the Stanly County Commissioners continues.
When the county was questioned more about their NC Water Rights Committee gift of $50,000 thousand unbudgeted dollars for "legal fees", written on an account with Bank of Stanly, with an Albemarle Post Office Box address, signed by C.L. Bramlett (a recent County Commissioner appointment to the Board of Trustees of Stanly Community College), dated August 31st, 2011 but not recognized by the County Commissioners until April 2nd, 2012 it brought about a typical government reply. The following is a copy of the question and the reply.
*QUESTION... "Why was the check from the NC Water Rights Committee, dated 8/31/11 to Stanly County not recognized by the county until the budget amendment on April 2nd, 2012?"
*REPLY... "The County does not always immediately recognize and appropriate non-budgeted revenue. The check was deposited per NC General Statutes."
Maybe State Auditor Beth Wood will give an opinion on this transaction too.
While researching the formation, the purpose and the above transaction with the county of the NC Water Rights Committee, another committee, the ALCOA Relicensing Advisory Committee was, for lack of a better term, "discovered."
From research, the ALCOA Relicensing Advisory Committee was created by the Stanly County Commissioners by resolution on August 11th, 2008 and during the period of time Commissioner Tony Dennis was Chairman.
Three seemingly odd features of this committee are (1) that it was formed on August 11th, 2008 but the resolution states the committee would be retroactive to January 1, 2007, (2) that the Commissioner Chairman would also serve as Chairman of the ALCOA Relicensing Advisory Committee along with another commissioner as a committee member and (3) the Chairman would appoint "other members from the surrounding community."
The resolution by the County Commissioners goes on to state that the new committee would appoint a "recording secretary to maintain minutes," that "such advisory committee shall meet weekly" and that "such advisory committee is empowered with the authority to investigate the relicensing issue, to negotiate for the services of professionals as needed, and to make recommendations to the Board as requested."
The very last line of the resolution creating the committee seems to be very questionable. It states "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Committee shall be exempt from the Stanly County Board and Committee Policy guidelines."
Does that mean play by the rules if you want too?
The county was questioned twice about this committee. Following are the questions and the reply.
*QUESTION... " Who are the members of the ALCOA Relicensing Advisory Committee?"
*REPLY... (from the county manager who was not manager at the time of the resolution) "I am not familiar with the Alcoa Relicensing Advisory Committee."
*FOLLOW UP STATEMENTS & QUESTIONS... " Below is the formation of the ALCOA Relicensing Advisory Committee from the meeting Agenda of the Stanly County Commissioners August 11th, 2008. (A copy of the resolution was provided with these questions) Maybe this is a mysterious committee like the NC Water Rights Committee! Concerning the ALCOA Relicensing Advisory Committee: *Has the committee ever met? *Who are the members? *Are minutes of the weekly meetings available? *Have any funds been budgeted for use by this committee since its inception? *What is meant by "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Committee shall be exempt from the Stanly County Board and Committee Policy guidelines?"
REPLY... "Upon information and belief, no members were ever formally appointed to the Alcoa Relicensing Advisory Committee and no funds were ever appropriated to this Committee by the Board of Commissioners."
Two mysterious committees and one Board of County Commissioners that seem to make it a rule rather than an exception to meet in "CLOSED SESSION" makes for more questions.
More Stanly County budget and the "big bad letter" information to follow soon.
(You are welcome to share this note. All email blast addresses are kept confidential. If you would like to be added to the email blast please reply to email@example.com with "add.")