Hancock County

State audit finds no big problems in Diamondhead

Diamondhead Mayor Tommy Schafer IV and Ward 3 Councilman Thomas Sislow listen to presentation by Samantha Atkinson during city council meeting, Monday.
Diamondhead Mayor Tommy Schafer IV and Ward 3 Councilman Thomas Sislow listen to presentation by Samantha Atkinson during city council meeting, Monday. ttisbell@sunherald.com

A state audit of the city of Diamondhead has found no laws being broken, but did find some operations that could be strengthened, according to a preliminary report Monday.

For instance, Samantha Atkinson with the State Auditors Office said, there were some potential bottlenecks in the city operation that could lead to lax oversight.

She recommended City Manager Clovis Reed evaluate the structure to increase internal control and oversight.

She also talked about the city manager form of government.

"Sometimes, citizens don't understand you guys can't affect the day-to-day operations," she said. "It's up to the city manager to make things happen."

The council and mayor, she said, sets the budget and makes sure the city manager sticks to that budget.

She also said the city has made improvements to its contracting practices since it became incorporated in 2012. For example, some contracts did have not have termination clauses, which would make it difficult for the city to get out of bad contracts. She said that so far she had not found an instance where that had happened.

"Remember going forward, the purpose of contracts is to protect taxpayers, to get fair service for the money you are paying and to be fair to the vendor," she said.

The council asked for the audit to review the City’s administration for compliance with state laws, council policies and directives. It also includes a review of organization, staffing, and management.

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