A legislative subcommittee heard testimony last Thursday from a town treasurer who admitted she does not understand the legal requirements of her job, which she has held for 30 years.
Carolyn Jones, treasurer for Coy, a town of 98 people in Lonoke County, testified before the Counties and Municipalities Subcommittee of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee about audit findings showing that the town has been out of compliance with the state’s municipal accounting law, with some of the issues dating back more than a decade.
Auditors found that the town has not had annual budgets, has not prepared annual financial statements, has not maintained records of all disbursements, has not performed bank reconciliations, has not issued receipts for all funds received and has not transferred state highway funding to its street fund, among other things.
Jones told the panel she wanted to apologize for the non-compliance and said there was no excuse for it.
“I do not understand all the laws and so forth, and I’d like to know what I need to do from now on,” she said.
The town’s non-compliance has gone on long enough for its turnback money from the state to be halted, a legislative analyst told the panel.
Non-compliance of the municipal accounting law can eventually be punished with revocation of a municipality’s charter. Jones told the panel the people of Coy would like to keep their town.
The panel decided to take up the matter again at a later meeting. Members said they wanted to hear from Mayor Ralph Jones, Carolyn Jones’ husband, who was not present Thursday.