Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finance Committee Selects New Auditor for LCCCA

After modest debate regarding the pros and cons of each proposal, the Finance & Audit Committee of the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority voted unanimously, Monday night, to recommend that the full board act to hire the Harrisburg-based accounting firm Maher Duessel as the Authority's auditor for FY2009-FY2012.

The Authority will cease using its current accountant, Trout Ebersole of Lancaster due primarily to significant cost increases in their proposed rate structure over the next five years.

Committee Chair Laura Douglas, while acknowledging potential difficulties, in transitioning to another auditor, said it would be good to have "a fresh set of eyes" on the project.

Authority Secretary Shelley Weikert expressed grave concern to the Committee that helping train a new auditor will add to the amount of overtime she already works. "I'm really really being stretched thin," she said.

Interim Executive President Art Morris, assured her that the Board understands her concern and will see what it can do to hire additional help if necessary.

The Committee also discussed the shape of the Authority's finances, which Morris deemed to be "in good shape," despite the fact that the Authority is appealing to the State for $3.2 million in "contingency funds."

As for that effort, Morris reported that although the State has not yet acted on the request, "They're glad we're looking ahead."

Two members of the general public attended Monday night's Committee meeting.

Randolph Carney of Lancaster City said, "I'm amazed at how proactive Art has been... I wish you were the Executive Director eight years ago."

"I don't," Morris mumbled, triggering laughter.

Bruce Clark of New Holland proposed to the Committee that they consider the idea of putting a casino in the Convention Center, saying, "As much as we might hate doing something like that, it would attract a very large clientele of seniors and the retired."

The Board did not comment on Clark's proposal.