When the town of Woodside pays a phone bill or a consultant's fee or buys a giant holiday wreath for the front door of Independence Hall, a check is cut in Town Hall and the transaction is recorded. So such records do exist, but they have not been seen much by the Town Council, contrary to what is specified in the municipal code.
That absence of oversight will change with the Jan. 24 council meeting, Town Manager Kevin Bryant told the Almanac.
The town code calls on the town's finance director in Woodside, that's the town manager, to "prepare and audit a register of demands against the Town and certify the register of demands to the Council at each regular Council meeting."
"You know, (a warrant list) is something that hasn't been done in all my time," Mr. Bryant said, referring to the almost nine years he's been on the staff. "I went to look to see if there is something in the code that spoke to it and in fact there is."
The council in Portola Valley receives a warrant list at every meeting. In Woodside, the matter came up recently when a member of the public asked someone on town staff about publicizing such expenses, Mr. Bryant said.
"I actually just let the (Woodside) council know that as of this month, we'll be providing that information to them," Mr. Bryant said on Jan. 6. A warrants list will be a monthly addition to the council meeting packet.
The council already receives "broad financial reports" and has for years, he added.
Asked if some routine oversight of the warrants list had been taking place anyway, such as review by the mayor, Mr. Bryant said that it had not.
"It's very rare that we get anything that's a questionable invoice," he said. If something like that does happen, it's taken on by the administrative services manager as an accounts payable matter, he said.
Mr. Bryant said that he could not recall examining the finance director's "Powers and Duties" section of the municipal code, "at least not for a long while."