District Superintendent Terry Goins started the discussion by describing his experience with Integra Bank, the District’s primary financial institute. He said that he attempted to go to the bank to obtain access to financial records via the Internet and was denied.
“No employee was ever rude to me, but when I went to look at the records, I was told ‘no,’” he said.
Goins added that after a callback from the bank, he learned that the Chairman of the Commission, Terry Lee McNichols was also not authorized to obtain access to the accounts, though several former employees were authorized and appeared on the District’s signature card. “I have a problem with that.”
He said that at the bank, he was given no reason for the denial and felt confused by the lack of information.
Commissioner Scott Bridges said that he believed bank policy to permit only those on the signature card to be allowed to view the accounts online or write checks on behalf of the district. He said that most financial institutions allow organizations to produce their minutes where the board voted to allow or change access to the account to change the list.
Commissioner David Kyler said that he believed “both Terrys,” McNichols as chairman and Goins as superintendent should have Internet access and be permitted to write checks.
Commissioner Stanley Brimmer said, “Look at what they did a while ago when they were paying us one percent on CD’s we had with them. Nobody does that. If I were the branch manager, I would have called the board and (District Office Manager) Penny (Wright) to tell us we have money that is drawing one percent.”
Bridges said, “We have to manage our own money. If we do not want to do that, we should think about hiring an investor.”
“When Trigg County Farmers’ Bank sold out (to Integra), everything changed,” said McNichols.
“They’re in Evansville, and don’t care about us,” said Brimmer.
Commissioner Mike Hyde suggested opening the choice of primary financial institute to discussion and review, with the three banks with branches in Trigg County, Integra, Heritage and the Bank of Cadiz to compete.
“If we mess with that and the money that goes in and out, I won’t be responsible for the mess,” said Wright. “The auditor said it could take up to six months to change.” She called the plan potentially a “big mess.”
“People change banks all the time. Pennyrile Electric just changed. People set up accounts all the time,” said Brimmer. “It’s no big deal.”
Wright said that the account contained several established wire transfers, including payments to and from governmental entities. Brimmer asked what money went in and out of the account and where the money went.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.