The county commissioners are attempting to amend the county charter and create an entirely new department with an appointed department head called “Chief Financial Officer” to circumvent the current financial committee made up of three elected offices, the auditor, the treasurer and the chair of county commission. They want to shove these three constitutional officers out of their statutory positions so the commissioners will have sole authority with regard to all finances in the county. This is a recipe for disaster and is indefensible. Here is what our favorite county-watcher, Brian Frazier says about it.
Mark Ozias and BOCC, et al.
I see what you’re attempting to do with your proposal to create the Department of Finance and a Chief Financial Officer.
You are attempting to delegate county financial control to the proposed Chief Financial Officer in order to eliminate the
financial checks and balances placed on the BOCC by the voters of Clallam County. Relegate the Elected Treasurers duties
and responsibilities in order to obfuscate, any possible financial misappropriations, misuse of taxpayer funds, inappropriate
financial transaction and or any interference by any duly elected Treasurer or Auditor.
The language used in the proposed ordinance; “to create a new county department that would streamline the county’s finances
so they can be managed in a more efficient, money-saving and uniform manner, with better accountability to taxpayers through
objective and transparent financial procedures, analysis and reporting across all county departments and elected offices; is a clear,
misleading and deliberate obfuscation of BOCC intent to remove the checks and balances, regardless of the statement that
“There is no intent by the Commissioners to abolish the current elected positions of Auditor and Treasurer nor is there any intent to
merge the departments.”
The language of the proposed ordinance makes it quite clear that; the “Chief Financial Officer shall be appointed by the Commissioners”,
“The Administrator(Chief Financial Officer) shall be directly responsible to the Commissioners, and he or she shall serve the Commissioners”
and when appropriate; supervising, performing, and delegating other responsibilities as may be prescribed by this Charter or be required of
him or her by ordinance or resolution of the Commissioners.”
“The Administrator and any other officer or officers of the county are authorized to exercise and perform any of their duties or responsibilities
through any of their respective subordinates.” You proposed “Chief Financial Officer will be APPOINTED to serve the Commissioners,
NOT THE CITIZENS OF CLALLAM COUNTY as the ELECTED TREASURER and AUDITOR DO.
Thereby, relegating as SUBORDINATES, to the proposed Department of Finance, Chief Financial Officer, the Elected Treasurer’s key position of public trust in the financial affairs and MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES of; Receipting and accounting of revenue, Disbursement of funds, Collection of taxes, Cash management and Debt management, and the Elected Auditor’s primary and secondary responsibilities of Financial management, audits, and issues expenditure disbursements for the county.
In short; The BOCC is seeking to eliminate any future challenges from the duly elected County Treasurer and or Auditor to BOCC spending.
Any AMENDMENT to the Home Rule Charter for a Department of Finance MUST include that the Chief Financial Officer be an ELECTED
position RESPONSIBLE TO THE CITIZENS OF CLALLAM COUNTY.
P. O. Box 207