Plymouth County: Commissioners promise audit

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The Plymouth County Advisory Board, consisting of selectmen from the county municipalities, serves as the legislature for the county. They arrived in Halifax Town Hall Thursday night for a sometimes contentious meeting.

The county commissioners, the executive branch of county government, updated the advisory board on its accomplishments. They’ve created a program that housing authorities, in and out of the county, pay for help managing underpaid retirement funds. They will roll out several additional regional services this year from waste disposal to dredging of harbors and lakes. They’ve secured grant funding to begin many of them. Regional services have the potential of reducing costs for municipalities while producing revenue for the county.

The commissioners have also filed six bills with the state legislature. Most address the fiscal inequity between the county and the state. One would allow the county, the oldest in the country, to establish a charter for the first time.

The county has not produced an audit since 2006. Commissioners claim to have a draft audit for 2007. They have not released it. Hingham and Scituate have led criticism of the lack of audits. That continued Thursday night.

Two of the three commissioners were elected in November and have pledged to remake county government. The majority of towns represented had a positive reaction to the new commission.

About Charles Mathewson