The job of generating a detailed written account of Monroe County Council meetings may be outsourced.

The Monroe County Council is considering hiring outside help to provide a transcript of their public meeting discussions. Council members last year instructed the auditor’s office to provide only summary-type minutes, which lists the item being discussed, the motion and the vote only, for all public meetings. Council members dislike the scaled-back version and want to return to more detailed transcripts.

County Auditor Cathy Smith does not want to switch back to that format.

Smith said her priority is monitoring county financial records, not recording full accounts between the public and the council. The Monroe County Council meets twice a month. Smith does not want to pull other employees away from auditing to listen and transcribe meetings that last several hours.

“We had to decide what was more important, good auditing or very detailed minutes when we have video,” Smith said. “It was my choice to pick spending that amount of time auditing.”

Smith said to fully utilize her limited staffing resources, correcting financial errors of the past in her office is her top priority. Two of Smith’s predecessors were charged with misuse of county funds.

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