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FM #102 treasurer-collector

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  • For the last 13 years I have served the town as treasurer-collector. Most people think that all we do is send out tax bills and collect tax bills. Tonight I would like to give you and the citizens of Franklin a brief presentation of what are the duties and responsibilities of the treasurer-collector.
  • Show Charles Nason’s collector’s book. Talk about an employee in the office who's ancestor still owes a $2 poll tax. I am still trying to collect it. Talk about William Trescott and 12th great grandfather served as constable and tax collector in Dorchester.
  • I am the bossNo one else can write a check out of a town account. FHS project will make it over $130,000,000 for FY13Monthly bank recon takes a few days. 78 accounts in 11 different institutions.Ongoing process. Constantly looking for better, more efficient ways of tracking cash
  • 5 Short term borrowing for cash needs is not an issue anymore. 6 Prepares the town’s official statement for each bond issue and prepares the annual report for continuing disclosure each year. Franklin High School project is in process now.7 self explanatory
  • 8 Currently finishing up FY2012 tax taking. Have about 15 properties going through foreclosure in land court9 Make sure numbers agree and commitments are posted to the GL correctly10 Self explanatory11 Balance cash to the penny with the comptroller each month.
  • 12 Munis. Keeps staff up to date with new software releases13 Demands, warrants, deputy collector (marking and clearing delinquent accounts), etc. MLC issuance, legally binding document, very busy when people sell or refinance. Many calls, some from overseas. Favorite was Elvis.14 Constantly looking for better ways of doing things. E-billing, address further along.15 Retirement money, annuities, deferred comp, garnishments, liens, levies, taxes
  • 16 We also pay withholding taxes bi-weekly. If not paid on time there could be penalties and fines17 Same applies to Mass withholding taxes18 W-2’s must be distributed to employees by 1/31 each year19 Same with 1099’s20 Parking clerk also holds hearings by mail for parking ticket appeals. Judge and Jury21 Annual school and review of new legislation. Next few slides contain a list of required courses and minimum required experience for certification test
  • The long and the short of it is you have to be a dues paying member of MCTA for 3 full years, I was 3 months shy of 4 years when I took the test. You have to accumulate at least 100 points before taking the exam. Taking all of the required courses during the 3 years is worth 50 points. Experience category makes up the rest of the points. See the next slide.
  • In addition to completing the necessary courses, 3 years experience as a Treasurer-Collector gave me 30 points, Bachelor’s degree gave me 20 more and experience in an administrative position in my business gave me 10 more for good measure.
  • Lockbox best thing since sliced bread. All transactions are imaged for easier research.Online bill pay, next best thingBonds with low rates saving the town and taxpayers moneyBond rating was A1 when I started. Is now AA2 up 2 places.Refundings in 2004, 2011 and 2012Strong collectionsNo problems with the audit
  • 1 As new “green” systems come into place there will be training for all staff2 We use excel for our cash book, to track investment income, all receipts, etc. Using very complicated formulas, the information all flows to a monthly reconciliation sheet that balances with the comptroller. The problem with using excel is that everything has to be entered at least twice and then entered into Munis for the comptroller. We hope to have a new system in place a year from now that will be single entry and will automatically flow into Munis.3 Here tonight to announce my retirement, pause, within the next 5 or so years.
  • 5 out of 6 employees are over 60.
  • There is a rigorous process involved in hiring new personnel.
  • Win the election and you are responsible for over $100,000,000 in receipts and disbursements. Who runs? Present qualifications are you have to be a resident of Franklin and over 18 years old. Someone could be disqualified if they can’t get a bond for the “faithful performance of their duties” within 10 days of the election. I have 2 bonds, Collector $200,000 and Treasurer $250,000.Are they qualified? What is their background? Do they have a criminal record?
  • Ask council to start process to get the question back on the ballot
  • Self explanetory
  • This came from a town near Worcester. I plugged in Franklin.We could add to that, Must be proficient in Excel, Word, and the Munis software program. Must have a degree in finance or so many years of related experience.
  • This is from the DOR website.Qualifications-speaks for itselfAccountability-Currently the T/C doesn’t have a boss and is not accountable to any one individual. Big picture is responsible to the voters but they only do a review once every 4 years, if there is a challenger.Moody’s and S&P stress the importance of a strong financial management team when they rate a municipality.
  • Incomplete list. Shaded areas based on MCTA salary survey which not everybody does. Also from personal knowledge.Most responses came from towns less than 20,000.
  • 59 out of 67 towns who elect have populations of less than 20,000, in fact less that 18,000.

Transcript

  • 1. Franklin Matters #102 Prepared by Steve Sherlock Community Information Director, (volunteer) FranklinMatters.org/
  • 2. TOWN OF FRANKLIN TREASURER- COLLECTOR Presentation to the Town Council January 23, 2013
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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.
  • 7. 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.).
  • 8. 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.
  • 9. Required Courses for CertificationThe link should open the file on Google docs with the listing of required courses
  • 10. 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.
  • 11. 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
  • 12. Improvements andAccomplishments in the Treasurer- Collector’s Office
  • 13. • 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
  • 14. What’s Next?
  • 15. • 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
  • 16. • 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
  • 17. • 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
  • 18. What Does This All Mean?
  • 19. • 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.
  • 20. •As it stands now, theTreasurer-Collector’sposition will be filledby election.
  • 21. Which Brings Us To:
  • 22. •It is time to begin theprocess of putting thequestion on the ballotin November to makethe Treasurer-Collectorappointed.
  • 23. 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.
  • 24. 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.
  • 25. 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.
  • 26. Cities over 30,000 population withelected Treasurer-CollectorsTowns less than 30,000 populationwith elected Treasurer-Collectors
  • 27. 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%
  • 28. 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
  • 29. 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.