By Debra Moore
The Plumas County Board of Supervisors approved an additional $300,000 for Clifton, Larson & Allen (CLA), the firm that is providing CPAs to help the county set its financial house in order, bringing the total to $428,000. The funding comes from the Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund, part of the federal government’s COVID relieve funding through the CARES Act.
In addressing the board July 18, County Administrative Officer Debra Lucero said that when she first brough this contract to the supervisors there was just one person assisting for $128,000; but now there are three helping in the various departments. Lucero reminded the board that when she first approached them about hiring extra help she estimated that “we could spend upwards of $500,000 on this.”
Luceros said that when the CPAs from CLA wrap up their work, there should be streamlined processes in place. CLA is also working with the special districts.
Auditor Martee Graham spoke in support of the additional help and said that the departments are trying “to implement a system that wasn’t fully implemented.” For example, “We don’t have payroll in there; we don’t have fixed assets in there. This is a huge project.” Graham said that a consultant from their team is helping in the process, and explained “this isn’t just a cleanup … it’s the result of working out of two systems,” she said.
Graham said the extra help is needed because “We don’t have enough staff to do this work; we are working with skeleton crews.”
District 3 Supervisor Tom McGowan tried to wrap up CLA’s contribution by comparing them to a “coach and pinch hitter coming in to help out and get caught up.”
Graham asked McGowan to “rephrase the phrase “caught up.” She said she didn’t like the negative connotation it brought to the work. “It’s no one’s fault,” she said. “I feel like when you use those phrases they are negative.”
The board approved the allocation.