Ogdensburg City Council votes to spend $20,000 more on outside accounting services
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
OGDENSBURG – Ogdensburg City Council voted to spend an additional $20,000 on accounting services to Gray and Gray Monday.
The firm was hired by the city manager to assist with budget preparations and perform an audit of the city’s finances to better assess the city’s true financial situation.At a recent budget workshop City Manager Stephen Jellie announced he will not seek to fill the city comptroller position and would instead seek to outsource much of the city’s financial work instead.
At that meeting, he estimated the services to cost the city around $4,000 monthly.
A price of $5,000 had been set for the budget work, but on Monday Jellie proposed spending an additional $20,000.
He said the funding would come from the remaining unexpended budget line left over from the surprise retirement of Comptroller Tim Johnson this year.
Exactly how the funding would be used was not discussed but the resolution authorized the city manager to “continue utilizing the services of Gray and Gray Certified Public Accountants, P.C. at an expense not to exceed $20,000.
At the recent budget workshop Councilor Nichole Kennedy asked if the firm used to replace the city comptroller would be selected through a request for proposal process.
Jellie said it would, however no RFP was issued for the work performed by Gray and Gray.
The hiring of an accounting firm drew some criticism from the public.
Scott McRoberts, who has regularly asserted his displeasure with the city council majority and manager asked if the city manager had the proper credentials outlined in the city charter. He also questioned when the city manager would move into the city, another requirement of the city charter.
“Prior to appointment, the person shall be qualified by at least one year's special training in public administration and finance, and by at least three years' experience in a responsible executive position in governmental administration, or by any equivalent training or combination of experience and training sufficient to indicate capacity for effective governmental administration.
“The person need not be a resident of the City or state at the time of the appointment but must reside within the City while in office,” the charter says.