Saturday, Mar 8, 2014
Tensions Rise at County 911 Board Meeting
WILLIAMSON CO. -- There was drama between a Williamson County commissioner and the county's 911 director over management of emergency services Thursday morning.
Commissioner Ron Ellis raised concerns about the program's management and finances, but a recently released 2012 audit shows no deficiencies.
"I want to know what the hell's going on," insisted Ellis.
Ellis raised numerous concerns with the programs finances at the board meeting, which lasted more than two hours.
"We have had two grants that have been denied because we didn't have our house in order," he explained.
He says the group continues to lose tax revenue and must cut spending accordingly. One potential expense that troubles him is the more than 200 unused sick days director Ken Smith has acquired the last 20 years.
"The fact that it was shown today that he anticipates that to be a revenue source for him when he retires is wrong," Ellis said.
"I was just baffled that that was what he was complaining about. That I work too much? Too often?" said Smith.
Smith says he's tired of Ellis repeatedly accusing him of wrong-doing. He even called Ellis a liar in an e-mail he sent to three of the seven board members.
"I think this is an abomination quite frankly," Ellis said. "And to say that I was a little bit pissed when I saw it was a gross understatement."
"Probably the same way that I felt when I found out that you made these allegations," replied Smith.
Ellis also pointed out issues discovered in previous audits including a questionable wire transfer and abuse of travel expenses.
"One of the employees had to write a check to the 911 board to cover personal expenses that were put on a company card," said Ellis. "That's a fact."
Smith says the auditor put in an additional $2,000 worth of labor investigating Ellis' claims, but the auditor told the board the 2012 budget showed no violations.
Ellis says he will continue to question the director's actions for the sake of taxpayers.
The Williamson County 911 program is funded by a tax on landlines and cell phones along with grants.
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