Creek County Ambulance sets accounting goals, exends offer to new candidate for executive director

E.B. Thompson

The Creek County Emergency Ambulance Service District (CCEASD) Board continues to work on and improve its financial statements and accounting practices, the discussion of which dominated Thursday evening’s regular meeting. 

When asked by Board Member and attorney Sean Downes where he felt like they were regarding completeness or accuracy with the accounting, Interim Executive Director Joe McGill said that if they were 80% there last month, he’d say they were 85% there this month. 

“So it’s improved, but it’s still not ready for [the Board to take] action,” confirmed Downes. 

Board Chairman John Dugger asked when McGill predicted the situation would be completely resolved, and McGill replied, “I don’t see it being 100% before July 1st,” or at the end of this fiscal year and the beginning of the next one. 

Board Member and accountant Don Temple said, “I’d like to see an effort made to see these numbers reported properly so you can build a budget off of them. I think you need to spend more time to get them accurate.” “Agreed,” said Dugger, who suggested that management “invest more time with [the accountant.] It shouldn’t wait until July.” 

There was a discussion of making a push to correct the financials prior to March and increasing the time spent working with the accountant to achieve that goal, upon which all present agreed.  

Later, the Board emerged from Executive Session to vote to extend an offer of employment to a new executive director, to begin December 29th. This was unanimously approved by all 5 board members. 

The new ED will replace Interim ED Joe McGill, who was appointed to that position by the Board after founder and long-time ED Rita Diehl unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. 

Should the candidate accept the offer, he or she has been authorized by the Board to contract with McGill after the new year for consulting, until the new Director is settled. 

The ED will also be in a position to appoint a new Assistant Director. This is the position in which McGill served and which Thomas “Boomer” Riter filled upon McGill’s move to ED. 

At the beginning of the meeting, during the time for public comment, 23-year employee Scott Forrester presented a petition signed by 25 other personnel asking the Board to keep Riter in an administrative position. 

Dugger thanked Forrester for his and the others’ input, saying, “That speaks very highly of [Riter] and we respect that.”

Whether or not Riter retains the Assistant Director position, as stated above, will be something the new ED will decide. 

A couple of items were requested to be added to next month’s agenda, including another executive session and the discussion of a training budget for the reimbursement of employee training-related costs.