Audit: Young levee board did ‘pretty good’
By JAMES A. ROBICHAUX
With only five of the nine board members present, the St. Mary Levee District had a quorum to hold a meeting, but not a two-thirds majority to be able to vote on rolling forward millages.
A special meeting will have to be called before next month’s meeting to do so.
In other business, Blaine Crochet of accounting firm Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick gave the audit report. Although it showed some problems, the audit yielded an unqualified opinion.
Crochet said that the problems with the audit — mainly “inadequate segregation of accounting functions” and that “management and staff lack the training and expertise in the selection and application of generally accepted accounting principles” — were typical for an entity that was both as small as and as young as the SMLD.
“We went from beginning an entity with $50,000 in our budget, and in just a very short time, jumped to nearly $15 million, all because of this flood,” board member Barry Broussard said.
Toward the end of Crochet’s presentation, board member Norris Crappell asked for a summary from Crochet.
“So, you would say for a new board, we did pretty good,” Crappell asked.
“Yes, sir,” Crochet said.
“That’s all we need,” Crappell said, met with laughter.
“That’s what the legislators need to see,” SMLD Executive Director Hilary Thibodeaux said after the meeting.
SMLD attorney Gerard Bourgeois spoke of what to do about the fact that not enough board members were present to vote on millages.
“Quorum isn’t enough for this,” he said.
“We’re going to have to have a meeting later in the month to adopt the millages. We don’t have to have another public hearing, but we will have to have another meeting.”