Manager Questions Borough’s Past Budgeting Practices

The Kodiak Island Borough government is pretty new at the top, with the mayor, manager and finance director all coming aboard in 2016. As a result, the budget under consideration for the fiscal year that begins in July is somewhat new ground.

“I’m trying to think of the best way of putting this,” said Borough Manager Michael Powers at last week’s assembly meeting.

“The more that I and my relatively new finance director dig, the more we scratch our heads and try to understand why are we doing things and why have we done things the way we are doing them, and so we are addressing those as we get ready to bring forward a budget to you.”

However he added that with every new discovery that is made, more questions come up.

“But every rock we turn over necessitates a couple of extra hours of work is what we have been finding in research and trying to understand why we do some of the things we do that don’t necessary line up with generally accepted accounting practices or pragmatic ways of doing things,” Powers said.

He suggested that the assembly might consider changes to borough code in the future.

“We’ve also noted that our ordinance has some interesting provisions as it relates to budgets. Some of which the borough’s adhered to and some of which the borough has not adhered to,” Powers said. “And at some point, probably after this budget cycle, we’ll need to come back to the assembly for some changes to line those up better with practice as well as acceptable accounting practices.”

The Kodiak Island Borough’s previous finance director Karl Short retired at the end of April last year after 33 years on the job. He was the borough’s longest-serving employee, by far, and won the Government Finance Officers Association’s municipal accounting award in 30 consecutive years.

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