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Judge/executive wants more oversight on magistrates’ discretionary funds

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By Stevie Lowery

Marion County Judge/Executive David Daugherty wants the county to have more oversight and be more transparent in its use of project funds and discretionary funds.

Daugherty read a statement at the end of Thursday’s Marion County Fiscal Court meeting concerning those funds. His statement was as follows:

“Recent issues regarding the administration of discretionary and project funds have caused me to consider the following: I agree with the concept that the county discretionary and project funds may be used for worthy causes and projects that will benefit the residents of Marion County and individual magisterial districts. However, the expenditure of these funds must be subject to oversight and accountability that will insure a good measure of transparency. As a result, I am currently developing a system of checks and balances that will insure such transparency. The system will be presented for approval in the near future and will include steps that will assure that the expenditure and subsequent use of county funds are both appropriate and open for public scrutiny.”

According to Judge Daugherty, magistrates have $10,000 in project funds and $10,000 in discretionary funds to use for their districts each fiscal year. There are guidelines regarding how those funds can be used, but those guidelines need to be reviewed and a stricter policy needs to be approved regarding those funds, he said.

Following Thursday’s fiscal court meeting, the Enterprise asked Judge Daugherty what specific issues he was referring to in his statement.

“I just want more oversight on it to keep everything on the up and up,” he said. “I want to watch it closer. Clean it up.”

More will be reported on this in future editions of the Enterprise.