Balancing the County’s Budget Deficits
on the Backs of Children
By Ray A. March
Oct. 30, 2001
Harbaugh’s Plans for Michelson
Carol Harbaugh, using Modoc County Office of Education letterhead, informed Domenichelli:
“The Modoc County Office of Education is planning to submit a proposal to the Modoc Children and Families Commission to provide fiscal and payroll services,” Harbaugh announced apparently in advance of notifying her fellow commissioners.
Harbaugh wrote in a two-and-a-half page, single-spaced letter that she was responding to Domenichelli’s letter of Oct. 10 to Michelson in which she recommended the commission keep its financial records independent of the county and avoid confusion and a lack of cooperation from the auditor and treasurer’s offices.
Harbaugh, sidestepping Domenichelli’s accusations and using vague jargon familiar to politics, said the problems stemmed from a lack of understanding and limited accounting software in the auditor’s office.
“The faults range from not getting requested release of payroll information authorizations to lack of understanding of what information you needed and how it could be provided by the county auditor’s accounting software,” Harbaugh wrote, excusing the behavior of the treasurer and auditor’s offices.
In pitching her office of education as “another local agency available to provide fiscal and payroll services,” Harbaugh outlined a contract proposal that would “not be bound by county auditor-mandated regulations, but still offer the checks and balances of a comprehensive, interactive system…” in which the Children and Families Commission would be completely independent of the county.
Michelson, Harbaugh, wrote, would continue as an employee of the commission “or an independent conditional” member of the Modoc County Office of Education staff completely under the direction of the commission.
Copies of Harbaugh’s letter to Domenichelli were sent to Michelson and each of the commission members.
Next: Part 15
Donna Michelson balks at signing CPA’s “clearance” letter and 2001 temporarily ends in relative peace.