New finance director/de facto administrator files for county treasurer position
It’s no secret that the Coos County Board of Commissioners is no fan of Matt Rowe. Rowe was, until last Thursday, running unopposed for the county treasurer’s position on a what he calls a transparency platform. Last week, Megan Simms, the newly hired finance director/de facto administrator filed for the position. The term “de facto administrator” refers to the job description which allows the finance director to have authority over personnel in other departments overriding department heads.
Hires, trains, develops and appraises staff effectively. Takes corrective action, up to and including termination, as necessary, on a timely basis and in accordance with County Policy and/or Collective Bargaining agreements. Employees supervised work in the Finance and Tax Collection department, consisting of accounting, and tax collection, as well as employees working in finance and accounting positions within other county departments.
The finance director has been hired at $5K per month and answers to the commission and centralizes control over the county administrative function, a move the voters soundly disapproved at the polls in 2012. The finance director also takes over several functions formerly managed by the Treasurer Mary Barton but that were above and beyond the state mandated requirements for her elected position. As an elected position the treasurer answer to the voters but the finance director answers only to the commission so if one person holds both jobs (and presumably the salaries to go with them), it appears to present a glaring conflict of interest. The BOC are meeting tomorrow to discuss lowering the pay of the treasurers office to partially offset the cost of hiring the finance director. If the same person holds the elected position as well as a higher paying at will position governed by the board it seems there may be a lot of room for inappropriate influence from the BOC over the duties of the treasurer.
This post will be updated.
The compensation committee met with the board of commissioners today to discuss the proposed salary for a “part time” treasurer. The meeting was curious in that John Sweet chaired the meeting instead of letting the committee members run their own meeting but in the end the group settled on a proposed salary of $28,000 per year beginning January 1, 2017.