During a Monday morning meeting, the Liberty County Development Authority decided that any future meeting minutes would be transcribed word-for-word from recorded tapes.
Prior to the decision, LCDA CEO Ron Tolley transcribed minutes from his own notes and not the recorded meeting tapes. The authority board started tape-recording its meetings in early 2010, Tolley said.
The motion to listen to the recordings and transcribe the minutes was made after a discrepancy arose regarding the Feb. 28 meeting minutes, which the board reviewed Monday as part of an agenda item that called for the adoption of the last meeting’s minutes.
LCDA Vice Chairman John McIver asked about the Feb. 28 recorded meeting minutes and pointed out what he said were discrepancies between what was said and what was recorded.
McIver said the minutes were not reflective of what happened at the meeting. At the Feb. 28 meeting, he said, attendees discussed scheduling issues for Ben P. Lee of Coastal CPAs. The scheduling issues for LCDA director of administration and finance Carmen Cole were not addressed, although meeting minutes indicated they were.
“I know definitely what I heard on the 28th,” McIver said. He requested the minutes be changed to reflect the fact that only one party’s scheduling issue was addressed at the last meeting, not both.
“I had to let you know that what I heard was a fact,” McIver said. “You’ve got to do better. What I’m going to do from here on out, I’m buying me a voice recorder/tape recorder. I’m bringing it to the meetings. I am not going to rely on minutes anymore. I’m serious. That is how much I feel about that issue.”
Tolley apologized and said he may have recorded the minutes inaccurately. He suggested the minutes be tabled and revised for presentation at a future meeting.
“In 30 years of preparing minutes, it has been very rare to have to modify any draft minutes for even minor tweaks, so I agree completely with John that the discussion needs to be accurately reflected,” Tolley said after the meeting.
Because of illness and Lee’s scheduling issues, which were addressed at the last meeting and recorded in the minutes, Hinesville Chief Financial Officer Kim Ryon has been assisting with the preparation of accounting templates. Board members had discussed Ryon’s participation early in the budgeting process when they decided to add new governmental software, which Ryon had experience with. Because of Lee’s absences, Ryon trained Cole on the software, which brought the LCDA’s financial records into accordance with new governmental accounting standards, Tolley said.
“She agreed to do so and we moved forward in agreement without delaying the audit process,” Tolley said of Ryon’s participation. “The financial reports (books) have been reviewed by the auditor, and we anticipate completion of the audit in the near future.”
The recordings are available to the public at the LCDA office.