Village splits purchasing, ethics rules in addressing audit concerns

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – The Village of Kalkaska is chipping away at answering concerns presented to the Kalkaska Village Council in an audit report for 2016.

Joe Verlin of the Grand Rapids-based Gabridge & Co. presented the council with a review of its audit for the 2016 Fiscal Year, which ended in February, at the council’s regular meeting Oct. 9. Overall, the report was positive with the downstate auditing firm giving the village an “unmodified opinion.”

However, there were some concerns listed in the report, including issues of transparency and making sure officials had complete access to records needed in their decision-making processes, as well as addressing how officials handled “related-party transactions,” or financial dealings between the village and those individuals with ties to village operations that may present a conflict of interest.

Seemingly at issue were bills related to Village president Jeff Sieting’s garage door business and work performed for the village.

While finding no wrongdoing or violations, Verlin did encourage the village to clarify its vaguely-worded policies.

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