In review by State Auditor Tom Schweich, the overall performance of the Village of Rayville was rated the lowest possible on the state’s rating system. The infractions are listed below:
Accounting Controls and Procedures
The village has not set up separate funds for the cleanliness user (trash) fees or the motor vehicle-related monies. Separate funds would help determine if fees charged are sufficient without being excessive and ensure restricted funds are spent only on allowable expenses. Also, monthly receipt and disbursements ledgers are prepared from the monthly bank statement rather than actual receipts and disbursements made during the month. Monthly bank reconciliations are inadequate; the village does not keep a running cash balance, so it does not know what balance to reconcile to when preparing the bank reconciliation. The duties of the Village Collector are not adequately segregated, and the Board of Trustees does not provide adequate supervision or review, making it difficult to ensure all transactions are accounted for properly and assets are protected. The Board does not always approve payments before they are made. During October, November, and December 2010, the village disbursed $4,682 (21 percent of its annual disbursements), but the Board did not meet during this time, so Board approval was not obtained. Village officials are not bonded. State law requires at least $1,000 in bond coverage for the village collector, and all personnel with access to village assets should be bonded to protect the village from losses.
Meetings, Minutes, and Ordinances
Formal meeting minutes were not maintained for the July, August, and September 2010 Board meetings. The Chairman indicated the July 2010 meeting was null and void due to an error in voting; however, such action would not make a meeting null and void. State law requires complete and accurate meeting minutes be maintained. In April 2009, August 2010, and January 2011, closed meetings were held, but there is no documentation a vote to go into a closed meeting was taken, as required by state law. Also, it appears topics beyond those allowed by the Sunshine Law were discussed during closed meetings. Village ordinances are not complete, well-organized, and up-to-date. For example, one ordinance says the fiscal year ends on August 31, but financial statements and budgets are prepared on a calendar year; the ordinance granting the Chairman powers to act as Chief of Police was not in the ordinance book; and several ordinances refer to the “city” and “Mayor” rather than the “village” and “Chairman.” Trustee Campbell voted to appoint his wife Village Clerk in April 2011. Although this is an unpaid position, the Missouri Constitution requires any public official who names or appoints to public office or employment any relative within four degrees of consanguinity to forfeit his office.
The village needs to decide whether or not to keep its police vehicle. The vehicle was purchased in November 2007, with plans to hire a police officer but a police officer was not hired. The vehicle has a flat tire, it has not been started since 2009, its keys are missing, and the village could not determine how many miles it had been driven.
Budgets did not contain all elements required by state law, and meeting minutes did not document approval of the budget. A complete and well-planned budget is a useful tool for setting funding expectations, monitoring costs, and keeping the public informed about village operations and current finances.
The village did not have current formal written agreements with its trash collection vendor or the Richmond Rural Fire Protection Association, which provides fire protection services to the village. State law requires all contracts of political subdivisions be in writing.
In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Poor.*
Information from the Office of Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich