Tuesday, February 21, 2006
By RAELYNN RICARTE
News staff writer
February 11, 2006
The Hood River County Budget and Finance Department has earned its second award for the high quality of its accounting practices.
And that makes it one of only 52 rural counties across the nation to earn the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
The Gorge county was chosen for the honor by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).
Dave Meriwether, county administrator, presented the award plaque to Finance Director Sandi Borowy at Monday’s County Commission meeting.
“It is rare that counties our size anywhere in the country get this award. It is a statement of the excellent system we have and how well you take care of it,” said Meriwether.
His presentation followed a glowing report from the county’s independent auditor. Parry Andersen from the Tigard firm of Pauly, Rogers and Company said the county’s fiscal reports showed no hint of any problems.
“There were no significant items that we thought we needed to comment on this year because it all seemed in order,” he said.
Borowy said the award reflects the dedication of her four office workers. The financial management team tracks about 50 local, state and federal funds that comprise the $28 million annual budget.
“I’m really proud of this department and staff. Everyone does one heck of a good job,” she said.
In 2004, the county received its first GFOA honor. The association bestows the annual award as the “highest form of recognition in the area of government accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.”
Borowy said the county upgraded its accounting technology in 2002 and that has helped tremendously with recordkeeping. She said the software created by Sungard/H.T.E. of Florida enables every department head to monitor what is happening with funds on a daily basis. She said the two GFOA awards are proof that the added vigilance is paying off.
“We can’t do all of the things that we do without that accountability. We really appreciate what you do,” Commission Chair Rodger Schock told Borowy at the Feb. 6 meeting.
Some of the essential services the county provides to 21,180 citizens include maintenance of road systems, law enforcement, public safety, health care, land-use planning, and forest management.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge