Franklin Matters #102 Prepared by Steve Sherlock Community Information Director, (volunteer) FranklinMatters.org/
TOWN OF FRANKLIN TREASURER- COLLECTOR Presentation to the Town Council January 23, 2013
History of the Position in FranklinUp until the late 1960’s the positions of Treasurer and Collectorwere separate, elected offices. Franklin’s Tax Collectorsbeginning around 1900 were Edward Sherman, Albert Martin,Clara Martin, Robert Doherty, Bernard McCahill, Rita McCahillBrennan and Florence Chisholm.Franklin’s Treasurers beginning in the 1920’s were EdwinRibero, Fred Mason, William Feeley, John Brunelli and RobertRappa.Florence Chisholm took over the Treasurer position when RobertRappa was appointed Town Accountant and served until herretirement. Robert Bell was the first elected Treasurer-Collectorfollowed by Pete Brunelli, Donna Brunelli, and CharlieMucciarone. I have served as Treasurer-Collector since 1999.
Principal Responsibilities:1. General oversight of the Treasurer-Collector’s Office.2. Maintains custody of all municipal funds and has the responsibility for the deposit and disbursement of these monies, over $100,000,000 per year.3. Oversees the maintenance of the Treasurer’s Cash Book, the reconciliation of bank statements (currently 78) as well as the monthly reconciliation with the Town Comptroller’s cash ledger balances.4. Develops and implements efficient cash management procedures, including forecasting of cash flow, monitoring cash receipts and maintaining internal control procedures.
Principal Responsibilities continued:5. Monitors cash levels in the treasury and arranges temporary or long-term borrowing of funds as necessary for town needs; pays interest and maturing debt; signs bonds, notes and other papers of credit for the town.6. Responsible for the issuance of municipal debt and ongoing debt management. Works directly with outside bond counsel and financial advisors to achieve compliance with all state and federal statutory requirements for bond issuance.7. Responsible for the investment of town funds including trust and agency funds in such a manner as to assure the payment of investment income at the highest rate reasonably available, taking into account safety, liquidity and yield.
Principal Responsibilities continued:8. Oversees the tax title and foreclosure process in order to protect the town’s interest in outstanding tax revenues.9. Works closely with the Principal Assessor on the import and reconciliation of Tax Commitment information from Assessor’s software into the Tax Collection software.10. Bills and collects all real estate, personal property, excise taxes and water/sewer/trash bills.11. Prepares financial reports relating to collection and revenue activity. Reports all cash receipts to the Town Comptroller on a monthly basis. Prepares and monitors department budget and Debt budget.
Principal Responsibilities continued:12. Manages the automated revenue collection system. Trains staff on the financial system.13. Directs the collection of delinquent accounts. Issues municipal lien certificates. Responds to inquiries from taxpayers, attorneys, financial institutions.14. Implements new service improvements.15. Receiving, accounting for, and disbursing all payroll and personnel deduction amounts (taxes, retirement, insurance, annuities, etc.).
Principal Responsibilities continued:16. Prepares and files quarterly 941 tax report for the IRS17. Prepares and files quarterly wage reports for DOR18. Distributes and files W-2’s and W-3’s each year with the Social Security Administration and DOR19. Distributes and files 1099’s each year with the IRS and DOR20. Acts as Parking Clerk. Accepts ticket payments21. Pursues professional development through Annual School. Must stay informed of new laws.
Required Courses for CertificationThe link should open the file on Google docs with the listing of required courses
Requirements for Members to Apply for Initial CertificationSuccessful candidates will be Certified as Municipal Treasurer or Municipal Collector, whichever is applicable. To be eligibleto make application, a member must meet the following Basic Requirements. He or she must:1. Be an incumbent Municipal Treasurer or Collector, or District Treasurer at the time of application.2. a) Be a "full, unlimited" member of the Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Association for at least three years attime of Certification. This means that an individual must have been in office as a Municipal Collector and/or Treasurer orDistrict Treasurer for a minimum of three years by September 1 of the year in which he or she applies for Certification, OR2. b) Be a "full, unlimited" member of the Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Association for at least two years at timeof Certification (see above) and have had at least three years prior service as a full-time officially appointed AssistantTreasurer or Assistant Collector.2. c) Be a "full, unlimited" member of the Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Association for at least one year at timeof Certification (see above) and have had at least five years prior service as a full-time officially appointed AssistantTreasurer or Assistant Collector.3. Believe in and practice Code of Ethics of this Association.4. Comply with all requirements of the Preliminary Application for Certification Test (PACT), submit same and have sameapproved, prior to examination.Standards for Certification:An applicant, in addition to meeting the Basic Requirements as per above, must attain a total of at least 100 points -- 50points in each of the following categories:Course Requirement Category - participation in entire Certification program and satisfactory completion (passexamination) of Certification course. Applicant receives 50 points for meeting this requirement.Experience Category - Applicant must additionally accumulate a minimum of 50 points as follows, but is not permitted touse the same time more than once.
Points Maximum Credited AllowedExperience as Massachusetts Collector or Treasurer or District Treasurer as of 10 per yr 50September 1, depending on the office for which Certification is being appliedExperience as full-time officially appointed Assistant Treasurer or Assistant Collector 5 per yr 40Additional experience (full-time equivalency) in Municipal Treasurers or Collectors or 2 per yr 10District Treasurers office, other than time considered in (A) or (B) aboveOther administrative position in local government (full-time equivalency) 2 per yr 10Related administrative position in Federal, State or County government, as determined 1 per yr 10by Certification BoardRelated administrative position in business, as determined by Certification Board 1 per yr 10College or University degree at Bachelor level 20Associate Degree from Accredited Institution 10Education courses and in-service training relating to Collector’s or Treasurer’s office, in 1 per each 10 hour 10 courseaddition to courses taken at Annual School of this AssociationService as Instructor/Lecturer at MCTA Schools, Conferences and Meetings, a discretion From 1 up to 10 10of Certification Board
Improvements andAccomplishments in the Treasurer- Collector’s Office
• Lockbox instituted in 2003. Saved the equivalent of 1+ person.• Online Bill Pay instituted in 2009• Sold multiple Bonds and BANs with low interest rates• Bond Rating increased and maintained• 3 Refundings of 5 different bond issues with a combined savings of over $1.8 million• Collection Rate consistently over 99% every year• Successful audits with very few issues
• We are looking to “GO GREEN”• Electronic Bill Presentment - Real Estate Taxes, Personal Property taxes, Water/sewer/Trash Bills and Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Bills• This will reduce the number of mailed bills saving the town postage costs• Pay more vendors electronically saving check processing costs and postage
• Continue to train staff on new software, payment methods, electronic billing, etc.• Look into software to replace multiple Excel spreadsheets used for tracking cash and bank accounts
• Multiple retirements over the next 8 years• Treasurer-Collector and Assistant Treasurer-Collector within 5 years• 3 out of 4 staff people within 8 years
• Four new staff will have to be hiredincluding an Assistant Treasurer-Collector. This will requireadvertising the positions, acceptingapplications and resumes, doingbackground checks, interviewingcandidates, and making sure thatthey are knowledgeable enough tocarry out their duties.
•As it stands now, theTreasurer-Collector’sposition will be filledby election.
•It is time to begin theprocess of putting thequestion on the ballotin November to makethe Treasurer-Collectorappointed.
The Position Is Too Important For Politics• The next Treasurer-Collector should not be selected by who has the most signs, who has the most people helping them on their campaign, who has the biggest newspaper ad, or who has the most people standing at the polls holding signs, handing out pens, key rings, candy, or nail files on election day.• This should be an appointed position like the rest of the staff in the Treasurer-Collector’s office.
Typical Job DescriptionProfessional administrative, technical and supervisory workrelated to the complete and overall operation of the Treasurer-Collector’s Office in accordance with Massachusetts GeneralLaws and By-Laws of the Town of Franklin. Performs highlyresponsible functions of a complex nature which requireconsiderable use of independent judgment and initiative in theplanning, administration and execution of the department’sservices, in the interpretation and application of laws,regulations and procedures, and in the direction of personnel.Has access to department related confidential information.Errors could be significant and result in legal repercussions,loss of funds, delay, administrative problems, and adversepublic relations. Must exercise discretion regardingconfidential and sensitive information. Approval of this positionis subject to being bondable, submitting to a backgroundcheck and passing a CORI check.
Reasons to Transition to an Appointed Treasurer-Collector From DOR• QualificationsRequires professional skills and background to be considered for the position.By requiring potential applicants to go through a thorough background checkand an extensive interview process, the town is in a better position to attract aperson with the strongest credentials and most relevant professionalexperience.• AccountabilityThe individual would be placed on equal footing with other finance officers anddepartment managers who have equivalent responsibilities. He or she would beaccountable and report to the chief executive (ex. town administrator or financedirector) and be subject to the same annual performance review process.• Financial Management TeamTeam meetings are an occasion to analyze financial problems, spur creativethinking and develop and incubate new ideas. They enhance lines ofcommunication and cooperation by ensuring that all involved collaborate toraise and resolve issues.
Cities over 30,000 population withelected Treasurer-CollectorsTowns less than 30,000 populationwith elected Treasurer-Collectors
NUMBER OF ELECTED VS. APPOINTED BY POPULATION FROM THE 2013 MCTA SALARY SURVEYPopulation # Appointed # Elected Percent Elected 1 – 5,000 35 33 49% 5,001 – 10,000 29 11 27.5%10,001 – 20,000 30 15 33%20,001 – 30,000 20 4 17%30,001 – 50,000 8 3 27% 50,000 + 5 1 17% Totals 127 67 35%
Closing• Notes from the Town Council meeting segment on the Treasurer/Collector can be found here• http://www.franklinmatters.org/2013/01/live-reporting-treasurercollector.html• Notes of the full Town Council meeting can be found here• http://www.franklinmatters.org/2013/01/town-council-012313.html
Credits• Audio of the Town Council meeting recorded on Jan 23, 2013 by Steve Sherlock for FranklinMatters.org/• Presentation document obtained from Franklin Treasurer/Collector Jim DaceyThe music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.