The Kentucky Association of Counties will hold its annual convention in Louisville Wednesday through Friday. KACo officials are hoping to move beyond a state Auditor’s report issued last year that uncovered lavish spending of public dollars by organization officials.
Executive director Denny Nunnelley was promoted to replace the outgoing director after the auditor’s report. He says some of the auditor’s suggested financial safeguards have been put in place, and the organization now has more internal oversight.
“…Hiring a CFO to oversee the expenses, a human resources director, we had a strategic plan done that we’re operating under and review monthly,” he says. “We have orientations for our board members and instructions on their fiduciary responsibilities.”
He expects the convention to draw more than one thousand county officials from across the state. Sessions at the conference will cover a variety of topics, but Nunnelley says one issue is likely at the front of most attendees’ minds.
“Jails are just such a burden and expense to our local government,” he says. “Every time we get together with them, they want to talk about it. The answer is always money, but there’s not enough right now.”
Governor Steve Beshear and State Senate President David Williams are among the speakers at the conference. Williams and Beshear are both running for governor, and Nunnelley says campaigning is inevitable.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for politicians to meet and greet other politicians and it happens at all of our conferences out in the hallways, before and after and such,” he says.
Another KACo event will be held in December to welcome newly elected county officials.