King William is still trying to work out issues with the Treasurer’s Office – Daily Press

KING WILLIAM – A year of tension between the King William County Board of Supervisors and the Treasurer’s Office ended in an olive branch, with the board agreeing to fund an additional staff member to help clear backlogs of the department.

Former treasurer Mary Sue Bancroft resigned from her post in the fall. His department was under fire from supervisors and the school board, culminating in a joint letter sent to a judge on Sept. 14 that expressed “no confidence” in the treasurer’s office, including Bancroft, who had already tendered his resignation, and his Deputy Abbi Carlton.

The letter, obtained by the Tidewater Review under the Freedom of Information Act, said the Treasurer’s Office was unable to substantiate the final amount remaining in prepaid taxes as of June 30. Of the 11 issues listed, the letter said the Treasurer’s Office had not helped with bank reconciliation of the FY21 audit and urged the judge to authorize the county’s assistant chief financial officer to take over as as treasurer.

However, Judge Benjamin Elliott Bondurant appointed Carlton as interim treasurer until a special election on March 7, a position consistent with advice from county attorneys.

Bancroft appeared before the Supervisory Board during public comments on November 28 and said Carlton had done a “magnificent job” despite the letter of censure and the fact that she had been left to work alone without help in the office for two months. . The Treasurer’s Office received a second full-time employee at the end of November.

Carlton appeared before the council on December 12 to request that another full-time staff member replace a vacant part-time position. She said the office was understaffed enough to handle the demanding workload. “There is a backlog of returned mail, around 1,000 items,” she said. Carlton said she was unable to devote time to the elements of the bankruptcy, despite working in the office on weekends and until 9 p.m. on weekdays. “I am currently unable to balance work and family life due to a lack of staff.” She said the revenue commissioner’s office had 4.5 employees while the treasurer’s office had two.

Supervisor Bill Hodges said the Treasurer’s Office had been offered three additional employees three times, but Carlton said two people were offered and one was fired from the Treasurer’s Office. She said a worker went to another department and wasn’t sure who else Hodges was referring to.

“Where I’m from, if you’re struggling and someone offers you a lifeline, you grab it,” supervisor Stewart Garbler said. He pointed out that a position had been canceled earlier in the year because the treasurer’s office was not completing bank reconciliations. The county finance office has resumed work.

Supervisor Stephen Greenwood said he was upset by a Facebook post made by Carlton stating the citizens of King William County deserved a “qualified person” who understands the needs of the job rather than someone “driven” to present so that the administration can win. control. Carlton, who was soliciting votes for the special election in her position, said she ran the office alone because supervisors “think that cutting office positions would make me crumble under the pressure.”

“That was never my intention…I don’t think that’s anyone’s intention on this board,” Greenwood replied.

The board voted 3-2 for a part-time position that the treasurer’s office was advertising to become a full-time position instead. Travis Moskalski, Ed Moren and Greenwood voted for the full-time position. Hodges and Garber voted against.

Board chairman Moren, describing the current situation as “awful”, said a full-time position would help the treasurer’s office catch up.

The county’s finance department is on track to complete all bank reconciliations, including schools, by January 1.

According to Natasha Brown, Director of Financial Services, “After the Treasurer’s Office was unable to complete reconciliations for FY21 and no progress was made on completing the bank reconciliation of FY22, the task was transferred from the Treasurer’s Office to the County Finance Department.” .

The idea was “to remove a full-time employee from the treasurer and allocate funds to the finance department to hire a full-time employee,” she said at the Dec. 12 meeting.

The letter to the Circuit Court addressed a range of concerns about the Treasurer’s Department that could impact local residents, including how payments were applied to customer bills. “…The prepaid amount was never raised,” the letter said.

The letter also alluded to a concern about auctions. “The Treasurer (Bancroft) has told the Board of Supervisors to expect a 100% refund of fees associated with the auctions. We have since understood that this is an expense that should be budgeted within the Treasurer’s Office and should not be reimbursed 100%, contrary to the indication of the Treasurer. As of 6/30/22, the total amount due for these expenses is $35,000,” the letter states.

He said the Treasurer’s Office was “unable to support the final amount that remains in prepaid taxes as of 6/30/22. It appears that when prepayments were applied to customer invoices, the prepaid amount was not never picked up.

The letter said the Treasurer’s office was historically open five days a week, eight hours a day, but began closing in 2022 on Friday afternoons and for “full and partial days on many other occasions, often without notice. .

“As a result, many taxpayers and citizens have been unable to access help from the Treasurer’s Office when needed.”

David Macaulay, Davidmacaulayva@gmail.com

Leave a Reply