Avis Gutekunst assumed the post of St. Martinville’s chief financial officer at a June 10 special city council meeting.(Karl Jeter)
St. Martinville gets new CFO
Supervision of St. Martinville’s finances was officially transferred to newly appointed “Chief Administration/Secretary-Treasurer” Avis Gutekunst during a special meeting of the city council Monday afternoon.
Gutekunst, a certified public acountant, will be tasked with remedying a number of problems that have developed over the past several months.
Past-due invoices and payments to neglected accounts will need to be updated and a more complete picture of the city’s current financial status developed.
The new financial officer will have the benefit of analysis done over the past few months by the Baton Rouge accounting firm of Faulk and Winkler. The company was retained to bring accounts up to date after police paychecks bounced, invoices were going unpaid and/or paid in error, and deposits were not accounted for properly.
Faulk and Winkler consultants will help Gutekunst transition into the job. She told the Teche News that she is confident that the books will be restored to good order and better procedures established in a reasonable time.
In association with the Hearts of Hope advocacy organization, a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) will be established by the St. Martinville Police Dept. Rick Ross with the Thibodaux Police Dept. is helping organize the program and told the council the facility will process child sexual abuse cases sooner and more effectively than the current system.
The CAC will be located in a building separate from the police station and established as a 501(C)3 non-profit entity. Investigators in the program will receive training in handling juvenile victims and witnesses.
“The way these cases are handled now,” Ross said, “abuse victims can sometimes be left in the custody of abusers. The aim of the CAC is to conduct interviews the same day allegations of abuse are made, if possible, so measures can be taken to protect the child and bring abusers to justice.”
The regular June 17 council meeting has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, June 24, to follow a meeting with the city auditor at 5 p.m. that day.
There will be only one
meeting in July, at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 15.