Cost for a full audit gives officials pause

One commissioner said board members quit the bureau over audit issues.
WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners are considering scaling back a planned audit of the county convention and visitors bureau after learning the proposed audit's price.
The auditor of state said she would charge $25,000 for the performance audit proposed by commissioners, according to a letter received by commissioners Thursday.
The audit was to have included assessments of the bureau's compliance with state law, efficiency, fiscal management and governance.
"I think $25,000 is pretty high," said Commissioner Joseph J. Angelo.
The audit was prompted by commissioner's discovery that the bureau had banked $200,000 over the past several years.
"You are looking at spending $25,000 to study $200,000," Angelo said. "We are going to have to decide if we want to do a full audit or specify what we want."
Necessary probe
The price for the full performance audit seems high, Commissioner James Tsagaris said, but he believes some sort of an audit is necessary. Tsagaris called for convention and visitors bureau board members to resign when the existence of surplus money at the board became public.
"This is one of the reasons that all the board members dropped off, they wouldn't do an audit," Tsagaris said. The board members who resigned "asked for an audit, they didn't get an audit."
Four board members heeded Tsagaris' call to resign, although at the time none mentioned a desire for an audit.
The convention bureau was audited by a private firm last year, said board chairman Richard Alberini. Its books are also reviewed by the state auditor every two years. The next state audit is scheduled for this year.
Recent audits have found no problems serious enough to require money be returned.
Alberini said the board welcomed the additional audit and has nothing to hide.
Commissioner Dan Polivka said he hasn't made up his mind if $25,000 is too much to pay.
"It sounds like a lot, but I will review it and then sleep on it overnight, and then I'll have a decision," he said.