Natchez audit expected to be complete by deadline

Published 12:05 am Friday, June 24, 2016

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez’s audit is expected to be complete by next week’s deadline, but the Natchez Board of Aldermen might not approve it until next month.

The city’s auditor, Deanne Tanksley with the Gillon Group, said she expects to finish the fiscal year 2014-2015 audit on or before June 30, when it must be sent electronically to the state auditor’s office in Jackson.

Tanksley originally intended to present the finished audit to the aldermen at a meeting scheduled for June 28, but there will be no meeting.

Email newsletter signup

“Normally (the local board would) accept it before that gets done, that’s the normal procedure,” Tanksley said.

The board cannot call an emergency meeting after the audit is completed because three returning aldermen will be at the Mississippi Municipal League conference in Biloxi next week, leaving Natchez without a quorum.

Tanksley said the state auditor usually prefers a local board accept the audit before it is sent to Jackson, but it is not strictly required and meeting the deadline may be more important.

Tanksley said she reached out to several aldermen Wednesday to suggest a way to submit the audit on time without a meeting.

“I could email them a draft and have them look at it and give (Natchez Mayor Butch Brown and City Clerk Donnie Holloway) the authority to say, ‘I’m ok with it,’ and then send it on,” Tanksley said.

If that is how the board decides to handle it, Tanksley suggested, she could formally present the completed audit to the aldermen in July.

“I don’t know if it’ll be a combined board, where old and new (aldermen) both come and hear it,” she said. “I’ve put it out to the people involved to let them make that decision. I do what I’m asked to do, and right now I’ve been asked to do this audit.”

This would be the first audit the City of Natchez has submitted by the deadline in several years, Tanksley said. The city’s 2013-2014 audit was presented to the aldermen in March 2016.

The city did not submit the 2013-2014 records to Tanksley until August 2015, 53 days after the audit was due to the state.

Assistant City Clerk Wendy McClain said the entire office has come together to get the audit ready by the deadline.

“We have worked very hard to make sure the audits got caught up,” McClain said. “That was one of the big issues when they brought me in.”