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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials February 26, 2015

1/3/2013 1:09:00 PM
Editorial: Lessons in oversight from Beaver Creek

Whatever the ultimate legal outcome of the charges against Kala Pearson, the entire episode in the Beaver Creek area should be a wake-up call to officers in every organization, no matter how small.

Oversight, after all, has a double meaning. Watchful management of all financial activity in a club is oversight. Not noticing suspicious financial activity can also be called an oversight.

There was a lack of oversight with both the Beaver Creek Village Property Owners Association and the Beaver Creek Community Development Corporation. How that happened is a little too easy to see.

Small organizations tend to be groups of friends with a shared interest. The one who is most organized tends to become the secretary or the treasurer. It’s a penny-counting responsibility few people want and are glad to turn over to someone else.

But that does not absolve other officers or board members from the accountability of oversight. As awkward as it can be to double-check or question friends about these matters, it is a responsibility that comes with the territory.

There is rhyme, reason and law to all accounting. It does not require criminal intent to allow an organization’s accounting practices to get a little slack, but it can sure cause trouble. That is true from Washington, D.C., down to a local flower club. Locally, the Tom Wokasch debacle shows the importance of multiple layers of oversight when it comes to money matters.

No matter how light or trifling an organization may be, if it is handling any kind of money all officers must be involved in oversight. That means the kind of oversight that rises above even friendships. If only one person is really in charge of the purse-strings, it is a setup for problems. No officer should carry that kind of burden alone.

Not noticing the odd movement of more than $30,000 is more than an oversight. It is a mess. Better oversight from the beginning is a lesson every organization should learn from Beaver Creek.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: I Read It Differently

I don't see the paper being one sided in either the Wokasch or this story. The point of the editorial was for all officers of all clubs to keep an eye on the books. No more, no less.
Neither one of these folks took your money to pay for a trip to Hawaii or a Ferrari. Both may or may not have used a small amopunt for personal use such as emergency gas, but i don't think either was trying to steal. Both were trying to run their clubs organizations expediently. Sometimes getting 3 officers to sign a check can take a week or more when the money is needed now. Both have been treated fairly in the paper. Let's hope both are treated fairly by the courts.

Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Maybe I missed something

I find it interesting how this newspaper has already convicted this women, but yet steal from student wrestlers and you get nothing but favorable press and only the facts, instead of editorial opinion.

Who said a 'good ole' boy network does not exist in the Verde Valley?'

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