Watershed Authority board adopts conflict of interest policy

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The Carroll County Watershed Authority Board now has a policy concerning conflict of interest. In addition, a board policy on attendance will be drawn up.

Watershed Board Authority members adopted a conflict of interest policy during the Oct. 22 meeting after the state Comptroller’s Office made the recommendation due to Sa unset Audit finding.

A finding in the audit recommended that board chair, Tommy Surber in conjunction with Secretary-Treasurer Dale Kelley, should institute a conflict-of-interest policy and should have board members annually review the policy, document any conflict of interest, and sign the form to show they acknowledge the policy’s requirements. 

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“The Watershed Board Authority has been abiding by this policy since it’s inception, but the policy wasn’t documented as a written policy and wasn’t signed by each member in the past,” said Kelley.

The policy says in part: “No member of Carroll County Watershed Authority Board of Directors shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, by reason of his or her participation with Carroll County Watershed Authority. This shall also include the member’s business or other nonprofit affiliations, family and/or significant other, employer, or close associates who may stand to receive a benefit or gain. Each individual shall disclose to the board chair any personal interests which he or she may have in any matter pending before the organization and shall refrain from participation in any discussion or decision on such matter. The policy will be reviewed annually by the board at a regularly scheduled meeting.”

The Sunset Audit finding also stated that one board member, who was Kenny McBride, did not consistently attend meetings during fiscal year 2018.

The recommendation on the attendance policy at meetings says: The board chair and the secretary-treasurer should emphasize to all board members the importance of attending meetings to achieve a physical quorum so that the board can conduct business and vote. Additionally, the board chair and the secretary-treasurer should implement procedures to inform the appointing authority when a member is not attending meetings and actively participating in board business. They should also consider creating an attendance policy to encourage all members’ attendance.

The next meeting is Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.

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