Washington Township Councilmen Concerned By Financial Records
The township's financial ledger was not updated for about 10 months this year.
Washington Township councilmen and residents questioned the way the town has been run for years during a council meeting Monday.
The township is looking for three new employees to replace former CFO, treasurer and finance director Jacqueline Do, who retired at the end of October.The three positions are typically held by different people, with the treasurer acting as a "control function" in the township's form of government, according to township attorney Kenneth Poller.
The township's financial ledger was not updated for 10 months prior to Do's retirement, officials said.
"Someone has seriously dropped the ball," resident Michael Ullman said.
The ledger has been updated by an acting CFO, though the council previously voted against the appointment because they had not seen any resume or credentials for the recommended candidate. The acting CFO was appointed anyway because the position does not need consent from the council, according to Poller.
The acting CFO has been working largely at night to update the ledger. Councilman Fred Goetz said he was concerned about the municipal government's ability to be "open and transparent" when the person responsible for the township's finances is not available to the public.
Mayor Janet Sobkowicz said that the acting CFO's work was reviewed by the administrator, who is also certified as a CFO and clerk. Other finance department staff are still available to speak to the public during regular business hours.
"There's a lot of checks and balances on it," Sobkowicz said.
Councilmen also expressed concern about temporary systems being used during the time the township has not had a treasurer. Only a treasurer or finance director is supposed to sign payroll checks, and three signatures, including the treasurer, are needed for vouchers.
Poller said that other towns have had to come up with similar temporary solutions when lacking a treasurer, noting that state officials are available to help municipalities work through these situations.
Officials said they hope to have at least some of the positions filled by their reorganization meeting January 2. Sobkowicz said they would begin interviewing candidates next week.