The consultant hired by Barton County told the County Commission Monday morning that the tax and bank reconciliations had been completed.
Pam Meadows of Computer Information Concepts said her team’s work was done and that she was confident the County Treasurer’s Office was capable of making sure problems would not arise again. The caveat was that the office institute the protocol changes Treasurer Kevin Wondra has promised.
Some of the problems with the 2012 tax rolls and 2013 bank statements were much more complicated than anticipated, Meadows said, adding it would have been difficult for the office staff to have solved them on their own. There were also changes in software and personnel in the office that caused difficulty.
There are clear procedures to more accurately record tax payments, Wondra said. In addition, he has learned he needs to spread the office workload and cross train better, check bank statements daily online and keep better notes in case someone else has to handle a different task.
One can argue that these should have already been in place and perhaps they should have been. One can argue about the qualifications for the treasurer’s office, but that is something set by state statute, not by the County Commission.
This is a very murky issue and a lot of fingers have been pointed. But two things are clear, the problems of the past few months are resolved and county residents have received assurances the problems won’t reoccur.
However, talk is cheap. “Talking about it is one thing, doing something is another,” commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer said.
Wondra and his office have taken a lot of heat recently. Now it is time to give them the benefit of the doubt and see if they are on the right track.