Maury County mayoral candidate Andy Ogles spoke to the Maury County Republican Party at their monthly meeting last Monday, where he said that, as County Mayor, he will focus bringing transparency in the County’s financial matters.
“There are several key issues facing the county,” Ogles told The Columbia Daily Herald after the meeting Monday. “One is finance transparency; with this a recent audit by the state that found several deficiencies. That has got to be fixed.”
The annual audit of the 2017 fiscal year made by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, published at the end of March, cited “significant deficiencies” in Maury County’s financial system, its county offices, and its public school system.
In all, the Comptroller identified 13 findings, all coming from three area of operation. One finding each from the county’s director of office of accounts and budgets, and the county trustee’s office, and then 11 from the school district.
Ogles told the Daily Herald his background in economics and tax policies makes the county’s finances a “huge focus” for him:
We need to make sure we are streaming our financials and becoming more compliant with the state. With becoming more efficient, there is built-in savings for the taxpayer because you are not wasting money.
Another area of focus Ogles told the group he is committed to is improving is the County’s responsibilities to protect the Duck River from potential future environmental issues as the County’s landfill approaches capacity.
The Daily Herald reported that site the county is evaluating to expand its landfill is located adjunct to the Chickasaw Trace Park, is less than a mile from the banks of the river.
“Statistically, we have a landfill that is poised to leak into the Duck River,” Ogles said. “That’s unacceptable. There are many counties that get their water from the Duck, and if our landfill leaks, we are going to be liable for fixing it.”
Ogles cited the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which he says indicates 31 percent of the state’s landfills leak.
“I have been fighting these issues in the state for many years now, and I look forward to being county mayor,” Ogles said.
Endorsed by outgoing State Rep Shelia Butt (R-Columbia), Ogles is well-known across the state as an activist for conservative causes. As the executive director for American for Prosperity, he worked with then-State Rep. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) to repeal Tennessee’s infamous Hall Income Tax, which was ultimately signed into law in 2016.