Editorial: Credit where credit is due

'"This year our audit only contains two findings.' — Bret Wier, Finance Manager

Following the March 28 Angel Fire Village Council Meeting the public, mayor, councilors and village employees may have been OK with the article that followed, “Mayor’s email spurs heated response,” but perhaps disappointed in the lack of any other news about that meeting. Whether or not anyone has entertained such thoughts, The Chronicle certainly has. For the record, that meeting had good news as well:

Council  issued a proclamation naming Camp Elliott Barker “a site of historical significance that should be preserved for future use by the Girl Scout organization.”

The village has a new Motor Vehicle Department clerk, Sandra Garcia, with regular operating hours 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, including during lunch hour.

The Angel Fire Proud committee is planning for the annual spring cleanup on May 13.

It is good news that Colfax County Commissioner Landon Newton again attended the meeting to give his constituents updates on county happenings, not so good to hear that increased crime will necessitate adding new deputy sheriffs and expanding the county’s detention center.

“The Inn is full, let’s put it that way,” Newton quipped to laughs from the audience, adding, “Once the facility is complete, we’ll probably fill it up.”

The best news of the evening came from Finance Manager Bret Wier who told council, “I am very proud to present to you the final draft of the 2016 audit approved by the state auditor’s office. Nearly three years ago, audit had 28 findings and we had what’s called a ‘qualified audit,’ which means the auditors would not stand by the audit because they could not trust our numbers.

“This year our audit only contains two findings,” Wier continued to applause from the audience. “One was because of a technical issue, the second was for a $177 disbursement.”

Because one was a technicality, Weir said. “As far as the auditors were concerned, we made one mistake last year. I am proud of my staff. It’s really their accomplishment.”

Those who are familiar with the Village of Angel Fire know the village had failed to complete its audits on time until 2014 when former Village Manager Jay Mitchell brought the audits up to date.

“This has been my personal goal and it comes with a lot of work from the village staff, past and present,” Mayor Barbara Cottam said in a Chronicle interview from 2015.

Audits of village budgets and spending are an annual occurrence for any municipality. To be eligible for state and federal funding the village must comply and be up to date with yearly audits. 

Village staff and leadership have worked hard to restore trust in their management of taxpayer dollars.

This deserves recognition.