Finance director says funds should have been taken out of 2017 county budget
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Information technology funding in the 2017 Oneida County budget for the purpose of having electronic voting at County Board meetings should have been removed before supervisors approved $27,000 for that purpose, county finance director Margie Sorenson said at Monday’s Administration Committee meeting.
“That project itself was not recommended by the (Capital Improvement Program) Committee, and when we discussed it on the last day of the budget (hearings), you were in agreement with that,” Sorenson said. “But then I forgot to change that number within (the information technology) budget, and we didn’t take that money out of the general fund.”
As a result, she said the $27,000 remained in that budget as part of the monies coming from the county’s tax levy.
“What happened was the (informational technology) budget had the electronic voting in there…,” Sorenson said. “Then the (Capital Improvement Program) Committee basically voted it down. What I should have done is taken that money out of the budget, and I did not.”
The current practice for voting at County Board meetings involves having the county clerk take a roll call, in which supervisors state their votes and then the clerk announces the vote totals.
Administration Committee member Rob Jensen called spending $27,000 for an electronic voting system “the top of the line.”
“There’s probably more reasonable options out there,” said Jensen, who suggested continuing to look into electronic voting for possible future implementation.
“It seems for several years we’ve been talking about doing it or not doing it, and then it gets pushed aside,” said committee member Bob Mott.
“We wanted to try to tie it with iPads, because supposedly we could vote electronically via the iPad,” added committee member Ted Cushing, who for the meantime favored transferring the $27,000 into the county’s contingency fund.
In addition to favoring the fund transfer, committee members also agreed to place the matter of electronic voting on their agenda for next month.
In other action, committee members backed a request from emergency management director Ken Kortenhof to transfer around $10,000 in that department’s budget to purchase a drone for search and rescue purposes.