Health District 1

Selma Health Care District’s Board members are shown at their latest meeting. The board meets next in February at the Selma Senior Center, 2301 Selma St.

SELMA – The Selma Health Care District Board is taking steps to get financial records up to date, get a website built and hired a secretary at its latest meeting.

At its Nov. 30 meeting, Chairwoman Rose Robertson said she’d received an email from the State Controller’s office seeking the district’s audit report for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

“This goes back to why we hired a CPA that’s familiar with special districts,” Robertson said of the Reedley certified public accountant firm Sanborn and Sanborn Accountancy that’s now working for the district.

“I dropped off all our information since I’ve been on the board since November 2016 and anything that I had or was given to me by [board member] Stan Louie. They said they’d get our 2016-17 audit done hopefully by December.”

The District’s legal counsel Kenneth Price said at times such audits are performed every two years and that the accounting firm will back track and check with the State Controller’s office to find out what else is needed.

“Normally, if you work in good faith, there isn’t any kind of sanction by the Controller’s office,” Price said. He also recommended the board follow any recommendations offered about internal financial controls moving forward.

“He’ll tell you what areas he sees deficiencies in [such as] how many signatures are required for the checks, how account reconciliation is occurring and how you’re accounting for taxpayer use of funds.”

Price recommended that the board keep monthly records as to their expenses “to show how on track you are regarding your expenses” and to make all such records available for public perusal. To that end, the board approved hiring Leon’s Computers to build a website where meeting minutes and various financial documents will be available.

“Another thing that should be happening is all the information you’re distributing out should be publicly available on your website and on a table here with all of your reports,” Price said of their quarterly meetings.

The board briefly went into a closed session and returned to announce they’d hired Mateo Rodriguez as their administrative secretary.

Rodriguez is currently attending Reedley College and plans to attend California State University, Fresno to major in agriculture. He is involved in student government and serves as the Vice President of Regional Affairs for the Student Senate of California Community Colleges.

As the meeting continued, Rodriguez immediately went to work to take minutes of the proceedings.

Treasurer Leticia Gallardo reported the district currently has a balance of $162,904.01 in its account.

The board approved purchasing a computer so Gallardo could have access to various financial record-keeping programs suggested by their CPA.

“When taxpayer money is being allocated to a board like this, there should have always been a website,” Robertson said. “Just like city council and the school board where there’s taxpayer money [being spent], you should be able to look at what’s been approved and who approved it. It should always be on a website along with the minutes.”

Once the website is built and online Rodriguez will upload minutes and agendas to the site. The cost to establish the website is $2,977. Annual maintenance will cost $959.

The board discussed options in purchasing errors and omissions liability insurance but did not yet vote on the matter. Having the insurance would protect the district from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in such a civil lawsuit.

Robertson said since their meetings are held in the Senior Center, which is under the City’s Recreation and Community Services Department, the Health Board may possibly be added to their policy at a cost of $130 annually. Quotes she’s received from other companies for more thorough coverage have ranged to higher costs of $6,190 per year.

“That’s very expensive but the companies are looking at this board as a new venture,” Robertson said. “The good news is we’re still looking at proposals with other carriers. I think we should wait.”

Colleen Nelson, a previous board member, said she too had looked into getting the coverage and ran into similar problems of finding businesses that even carried the type of insurance they need as a special district.

“Not everybody carries this kind of insurance.”

Price suggested they look into joining a local joint powers authority with similar special districts to find more affordable rates for the type of coverage they need.

Price presented updates to the district’s bylaws where the updated wording on the district’s purpose, meeting times, removed a section about health benefit plans and clarified language regarding removal of an officer. The board also discussed whether to keep a vice-presidency position in the bylaws. The updates will be revisited at an upcoming meeting.

Treasurer Gallardo and board member Linda Esquivel are serving on an ad hoc committee to develop a funding policy for future grant seekers. They have yet to meet but will consider setting dollar amounts for grants, what status reports will be required of recipients and any policy changes regarding the grants.

“I think it’s very important to know where that money is going and to ensure there’s accountability,” Price said.

Price also asked for all the board members to ensure they’ve filled out the statement of economic interest Form 700 that elected officials are required to file with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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