It is human nature to want to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Parents do this with their kids, teachers do this with their students and rational adults do this with each other.
We want to give second chances.
But, we have gone beyond that now with the Barton County Treasurer’s Office and its leader Kevin Wondra.
It was revealed at the Barton County Commission meeting Monday morning that some how there was an extra $1.9 million sitting around. This was tax money collected in May that should have been distributed in June.
How did this happen? “I don’t know why they weren’t distributed,” Wondra said of the money when he addressed the commission Monday.
Not much of an answer. There were issues with a new software his office is using, but that has been in place now for over a year.
In fact, the missing money was not discovered by Wondra or his office. It was found by the county’s Financial Officer Jessica Wilson.
Sound familiar. It should.
There are parallels between the problems in the office now and those of a few months back when it was discovered that there were unreconciled tax rolls dating back to 2012. Although that mess is cleared up now, the earlier problems put Wondra in the hot seat and hurt the county when it came time for the annual audit.
To make matters worse in the current situation, Wondra was not honest with the commission and those present at the meeting Monday.
He assured everyone the checks for this wayward distribution were ready and on his desk to be mailed. Well, they weren’t.
The checks were not cut until Wednesday.
The treasurer is an elected position. The commission has no authority to hire or fire a treasurer.
So, we have to ask ourselves, have we run out of second chances.
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