Xpress takes a look at some of the steps elected officials and top staff have taken to guard against future corruption and what policies the Board of Commissioners plans to address in the immediate future.
Interim County Manager George Wood said in a Sept. 11 memo to commissioners that, taking into account increases in automatic employee raises, a projected bump in health insurance claims and the potential for larger funding requests from local school systems, the county could see an approximately $1.7 million deficit in FY 2020.
A new political action committee wants to flip the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, which currently has a 4-3 Democratic majority, to Republican. Their motivation? Democrats controlled the board and, they claim, provided poor oversight during a period of alleged corruption.
The Weaverville session was the first of three that Buncombe County will host to cover each of the board’s three election districts. District 2 Commissioners Mike Fryar and Ellen Frost were in the hot seat on Thursday evening.
Buncombe County has terminated contracts worth more than $550,000 with two companies associated with Joseph Wiseman Jr., who the county has identified as the contractor who allegedly paid kickbacks to three former county officials.
Even as elected officials and county staff digested word of new indictments of former county employees released less than four hours before the regular meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on Aug. 7, efforts to select a new county manager continued to move ahead.
A federal grand jury returned a bill of indictment on Aug. 7, bringing charges against three former Buncombe County officials: former County Manager Wanda Greene, former County Manager Mandy Stone and former Planning Director and Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton.
The resolution sets the stage for the county to reimburse itself through bonds should it initially finance planned construction projects with operating funds. According to Internal Revenue Service regulations, wrote Interim County Manager George Wood, a bond resolution must precede spending money on projects that might later be refinanced using bonds.
Michael Greene, a former Buncombe County employee who has been accused of misusing county purchase cards, on July 27 pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit an offense against the United States.
Buncombe County is one step closer to recouping the money it claims was misappropriated by former County Manager Wanda Greene and her son, Michael Greene, who served as a county employee until August 2017.
During their meeting on July 10, commissioners approved an increase in monthly Waste Pro rates and took the first step in their formal search for a new county manager.
The next major step in the selection of a new county manager involves deciding whether to hire an executive search firm. That’s an issue commissioners will discuss during their meeting on Tuesday, July 10.
Two pivotal items on the board’s agenda were the approval of the FY 2019 budget and the appointment of an interim county manager after the sudden departure of former manager Mandy Stone.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider George Wood, who previously served as the county manager for Wayne and Lincoln counties, for the role of interim county manager during its meeting on Tuesday, June 19.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote Tuesday, June 19, on a resolution appointing a new interim county manager after last week’s sudden announcement that County Manager Mandy Stone would be departing. The board will also render a final decision about the county’s FY 2019 budget, which includes a bump in education spending.