New Mahoning County audit panel appointed

Published: Sat, September 3, 2016 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken


The Mahoning County commissioners have re-established a long-dormant audit committee and appointed six people to it – two bank presidents, a university official, the local public library system director and two county officials.

The bank presidents are James M. Gasior of Cortland Banks and Gary M. Small of United Community Financial Corp.

The academic official is Dr. Peter Woodlock, chairman of accounting and finance at Youngstown State University, and the library official is Heidi M. Daniel, executive director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

The county officials are Auditor Ralph T. Meacham and Carol Rimedio-Righetti, chairwoman of the county commissioners.

Meacham, Woodlock and Gasior are certified public accountants.

The committee’s purpose “is to ensure accountability, transparency and compliance with the annual audit process,” Meacham said after the commissioners re-established the panel at their Canfield meeting Thursday.

The committee, whose re-establishment was urged by the state auditor’s office, will “provide independent review and oversight of the county’s financial reporting processes, internal controls and independent auditors,” he added.

The audit committee must meet at least twice a year, once in the annual audit’s planning phase and again at the independent auditors’ exit conference.

“They’ll be like a second set of eyes on our budget,” Rimedio-Righetti said of the committee members.

“I’d like more transparency and accountability for the county’s books and records,” Meacham said.

Audrey C. Tillis, executive director for the county commissioners, said she does not know why the committee went dormant because its dormancy began before she joined the county commissioners’ office as county budget director in July 2012.

Meacham also told the commissioners the county auditor’s booth in the government building at the Canfield Fair will feature staff experts in various matters handled by his office throughout the weekend.

Cheri Donofrio, director of taxation, will be there from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today .

On Sunday, Robert Rimedio, chief appraiser, will be present to discuss property appraisal from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Elizabeth Petrie, budget and tax analyst, will be on duty from 3 to 7 p.m. to discuss government budgeting.

Singers from Opera Western Reserve will perform at the booth from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Scott Crawford, real-estate supervisor, will be on duty there from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.

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