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Acting CFO Updating Washington Twp. Ledger Despite Council Vote

Washington Township hired a temporary acting CFO to update the town's finances even though the council voted against hiring the candidate at their previous meeting.

Washington Township has a new temporary acting CFO to update the town's financial ledger, even though the council voted against hiring her at their last meeting.

"This is the first we're hearing of it," Councilman Fred Goetz said at a council meeting Monday.

Mayor Janet Sobkowicz said it was necessary to bring on the acting CFO so that the ledger could be updated in time for the 2013 budget.

"We cannot do the budget for the coming year until we have the general ledger done," Sobkowicz said.

Former CFO Jacqueline Do retired as of November 1.

Councilmen expressed concern about the move because the acting CFO is currently working at some unusual hours due to another job and because only the mayor had interviewed her, though she has previously worked for the township. Also, only a financial director — which the township does not currently have — can appoint a CFO, according to Goetz.

Township Administrator Catherine Navarro-Steinel said the acting CFO was currently only doing data entry to update the ledger, and was not making new calculations or signing checks. The township was in arrears because the ledger had not been updated for almost 10 months, she said.

The township is also advertising to fill four positions, including a full-time treasurer job and part-time deputy clerk, planning and zoning board secretary and clerical assistant positions.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

B@B December 04, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Sounds like someone is trying to hide something in the township's books. Time for new governance and transparency. Who's with me? And how do we start?
resident December 04, 2012 at 03:00 PM
10 months without accurate and updated finacials is basically saying that the council, council president and mayor let the fiscal year lapse without financial data. There has been no reporting to compare actual spend to budget. Yet the mayor mentions a number that she is expecting a s a surplus. How can you possibly have a surplus when you have not entered information into the ledger. The council should insist on reveiwing monthly fifnancials, if not available then get a competent CFO.. An independent audit firm also needs to be enggaed. This is willfull misconduct and negligence, and D&O policies do not cover this activity. Doesn't the town attorney advise anybody about their fidiciary responsibility, or is he in it for the ride! We as taxpayers need to establish a fund and hire the right legal team and take the necessary legal action to protect our rights. We need to establish our own Faulkner rules. I will check into the legalities of establishing a fund, which will be used to protect the taxpayers of the township of washington. Enough is enough. This is disgraceful!
oldmanwtp December 05, 2012 at 12:25 PM
b@b : You start in june when the election primary begins. Councilmans Durso and Goetz must run and need to be removed IMMEDIATELY. Send a message. Tell all your friends in town.
scruffy December 05, 2012 at 03:36 PM
The town does have an independent outside auditor and most likely that audit date is coming up soon. This is probably why they are suddenly updating the books. Why on earth it took this long for someone to notice that and start the update is mind boggling. What was the former person doing all year who should have been doing the input? Where are the financial controls?
B@B December 05, 2012 at 06:43 PM
oldmanwtp: How do we get alternative candidates to run? I have never had children in the school system and work full-time plus long hours or I would run myself. Are there any meetings of concerned citizens who are trying to do something about a change of governance in the next election? How would one find out about such a group?

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