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Sand Lake appoints new president


Village of Sand Lake appointed council member Danielle Hardenburg to the position of president.

Auditor speaks out on problems; Clerk resigns

By Judy Reed

The Village of Sand Lake appointed council member Danielle Hardenburg to the position of president Monday evening, November 19, and she and the board are facing some tough clean up work after their auditor reported that he has been unable to complete the audit due to lack of financial reports from their clerk.

Former Village President Thomas Norton opened the meeting. He told the board either they could nominate someone to take the position of President, or he could nominate someone. Tonia Parkhurst nominated Danielle Hardenburg, and the vote was unanimous. Norton then made a quick exit, saying he had other things to do.

Parkhurst was voted in as President pro tem by the council. Trustees Marcia Helton, Rachel Gokey, and new appointee Glen Baker were all sworn in. There are still two positions open.

Auditor Doug Wahlburg addressed the council about his inability to complete the federally required audits due to lack of financial reports from Clerk Kent Boersma. Wahlburg said that deadlines for the audits were in July and September. He said he met with Boersma in early June and discussed needing to have bank statements reconciled, but it was not done. He came back on September 4, and it was still not started. He came back again on October 1, and they were still not reconciled. He noted that when he came back on November 7, it looked like Boersma had changed the general ledger to reconcile the statements. On November 12, he said Boersma had only given him about 12 pages of a report that is usually about 150.

When asked if there was any reason given why he wasn’t getting what he needed, he said that Boersma wasn’t familiar with the software to print the reports that he needed, but that was a small learning curve.

Wahlburg recommended to the board that they hire another CPA to come and balance the books as soon as possible, because not meeting deadlines would affect them getting payments from revenue sharing and Act 51 money. 

After Wahlburg’s presentation, Boersma offered no explanation to the board for not producing the reports, just said it would get done by December 1. He then resigned the next day, Tuesday, November 20.

Hardenburg said she had planned to meet with Boersma and the auditor on Wednesday, November 21, to dig into the situation. She said they would need to have a special meeting to appoint a firm to balance the books and get Wahlburg the reports he needs. 

“We are going to get our board on our feet,” said Hardenburg. “It’s going to be a battle. I stepped up to make a difference. We have to be open and transparent and work as a team. Nothing is going to get better until we do.”

Hardenburg said education of the board members is important, and she said she would be donating a percentage of her check from the Village to go into a fund that will help pay for the council members to go to workshops such as those held by the MML (Michigan Municipal League).

The board also talked about opting out of allowing sales of recreational marijuana, at least until the state of Michigan issues their guidelines. They will be looking at ordinances adopted by other municipalities to see how they can be tweaked to fit their Village. 

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