SHEPHERDSVILLE - A request to abolish the position of assistant county treasurer has been denied once.
But it appears that the issue is not done.
As the budget committee working on the Bullitt County financial plan for 2012-13 begins its studies, the matter of whether to fund an assistant treasurer’s position or to create a financial officer may be hashed out once again.
At the Feb. 21 meeting of Bullitt Fiscal Court, magistrate Ruthie Ashbaugh made a motion to abolish the position currently held by Donna Centers. Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts made a second to the motion.
However, the measure, which would have also allowed the county to advertise for a finance officer, failed 3-2.
Magistrate Dan Kelty wondered what would happen if treasurer Kenann Bradley was out on vacation.
After the meeting, Kelty, who remains a magistrate until he is officially sworn in as a police officer in the city of Mount Washington, which would be after his 18 weeks of academy training, said he was worried about employees getting paid if the treasurer was not available.
Plus, he said the fiscal court members are responsible for the financial condition of the county, not a finance officer.
Magistrate John Bradshaw said he wasn’t in favor of firing one person to create another position and hire someone else.
He was worried about any time Bradley might be out, for things such as illness or vacation.
In terms of hiring a finance officer, Bradshaw said the people elected the county judge and the magistrates to do that job.
If the county decided it might need some advice on finances, a consultant could always be retained.
Magistrate Joe Laswell said the assistant treasurer’s position is needed.
He would not favor hiring a finance director because that is the job of the judge and fiscal court.
And, by law, the finance officer could not perform the duties of the treasurer.
But, Ashbaugh said that instead of funding the assistant treasurer’s position with few duties, the $30,000 would be used to help hire a financial officer.
Roberts, who has unsuccessfully lobbied for a finance officer since taking office six years ago, said it is vital.
“We think it is very, very critical to this county,” Roberts said of the finance position.
She said it is important to have someone who has experience in helping the county save money and also to generate more revenue.
“This county can’t afford to not have one,” said Roberts. “We need one critically.”
While the issue appeared dead last month, it might resurface in April.
Deputy Judge Lisa Craddock, in talking with the budget committee at its first meeting Tuesday, told members Bradshaw and Ashbaugh to expect the assistant treasurer’s position to be eliminated in Roberts’ proposal.
The county judge’s proposed 2012-13 budget must be presented to fiscal court by May 1 and adopted in some form by June 30.
Craddock said some of the rationale is that the assistant treasurer’s position cannot sign checks. Instead, the judge would like to use that money to fund the finance officer in the new budget.
Bradshaw said he didn’t understand if the issue didn’t fly before, why would the judge try to put it in the budget once again.
Much of the budget committee meeting was spent setting up plans for addressing each department’s requests.
All department supervisors will turn in proposed budgets to Craddock, who will have that information ready for the next meeting on March 13. Several department leaders will be asked to explain their proposals.
At the next meeting, the committee expects to hear from the road department, the county attorney and maintenance budgets for the courthouse and annex.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the county judge’s office in the courthouse. It is open to the public.