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Harper County Treasurer Addresses Issues In Letter

~~I have put much time and consideration on this matter before submitting this letter. It is not my desire to cause turmoil or to assign blame, just to provide the answers to the inquiries that have been brought to me as treasurer and to inform the public what has been transpiring.

I was sought and was elected to the position of Harper County Treasurer with a salary of $47,700.00, when I took office the commissioners had cut that salary to $39,020.80. When the treasurer confronted the County Commissioners about this matter, she was told that it was reverted back to the 2011 status.

This made the position of County Treasurer the lowest paid elected official with the highest volume of customers and the lowest amount of support staff with which to provide a sufficient service to the residents of Harper County.

I find it very interesting that in the prior year there were two elected officials that clashed with the county commissioners on a regular basis. Those being the County Attorney and County Treasurer. Both of these elected officials pointed out to the commissioners that they had no statutory authority over how they ran or staffed their departments. The next year both of the elected officials that chose to stand up to the county commissioners found that their salaries in different ways had been cut. This seems like a very clear message from the Board of County Commissioners to Elected officials, “tow the line or there will be repercussions”.

When my predecessor retired, I approached the Board of County Commissioner, hoping to bury the hatchet and put past conflicts behind us. I asked them if the Treasurer salary was going to be reinstated to the prior level. They informed me that I “knew how they felt about that and they do no believe the Treasurer salary should be place on the back of the taxpayers when the lion share of their work is for the state”.
If this were to be investigated further, I believe that we would find that other elected county officials are compelled to perform tasks for the state as well. The County Clerk’s office does election and tax levies for the State of Kansas. The Sheriff Department serves tax warrants owed on state taxes as well as duties performed by the Register of Deeds and County Attorney that benefit the state of Kansas. These are not duties that the elected officials volunteered for they are duties mandated by statute.

It appears to me that the office of Treasurer is paying for perceived past situations of an individual that is no longer even employed by the county. I feel that all the conversations of new beginnings were simply hyperbole without any actual merit. The demeanor of old seems to still be the status quo of spiteful tendencies and agenda driven decision making.

As I stated earlier, this is to answer questions posed to me by my constituents and also to inform you, the taxpayer, and the people who entrusted me to this office that I hold in such high esteem, of what is currently happening in our local government. Knowledge is power, I implore all of you to arm yourselves with the knowledge of how our Board of County Commissioner governs, go to meetings, read the minutes of the meetings in the paper, and monitor the county website.

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