2011-09-24 / News

Union Township fiscal officer resigns

By Scott Rawdon

UNION TOWNSHIP – Jessica Slater will become Union Township’s fiscal officer six months earlier than she expected.

Monday night Union Township Trustees appointed her to the position as of Oct. 1 after current fiscal officer Amanda Griffith informed the trustees she’s resigning at the end of September. Trustee President John Slater said Griffith’s term would’ve ended at the end of March and she wasn’t seeking another term in the November election. He said state law dictates that township fiscal officers’ terms end March 31 so there’s not a complete change of administration Jan. 1 if some of the trustees are voted out.

Jessica Slater, John Slater’s sister-in-law, is the only candidate for the post on the November 8 ballot. Trustees decided it made sense to get Jessica Slater started now, once Griffith resigned. John Slater abstained from the vote on Jessica’s appointment. “(Trustees) appointed a person who needed to learn the system anyway,” he said.

John Slater said Jessica has college training in maintaining inventory for businesses, some professional clerical experience, and her mother was clerk for a local township. “She has a wealth of resources to draw from to shorten the learning curve,” he said.

Unfortunately, the learning curve will be steep. John Slater said Griffith allowed the township’s Unified Accounting Network to “slide” and some very important information critical to the state’s ability to audit the township – a contractor for the State Auditor’s office is currently performing its regular audit of the township – was not entered into the system. “She put that off,” he said. Slater doesn’t believe there was any wrongdoing, but more of a case of “sloppy housekeeping.” He said the township has all the information it needs to enter into the system and it’s just a matter of entering it before the state auditor’s office begins sending letters demanding that the township does so.

Trustees hired Amanda Township Fiscal Officer Melissa Tremblay to assess what Union Township needs to bring its accounting up to date and she may be retained at $20 per hour to see the process through to completion and to train Jessica Slater on the UAN system; Tremblay is often hired as a consultant to townships and municipalities to organize their accounts and train clerks. Locally she’s assisted Thornville, Kirkersville, and the Village of Buckeye Lake, among others. She’ll assess Union Township’s accounting situation Friday.

Trustee Rick Black said Griffith decided she could no longer handle being Union Township Fiscal Officer and devote enough time to her new project, which is leading Eagle Wings Academy in the former Jacksontown Elementary building. “She was spread so thin she had to give it up,” said Black. “I think it worked out best for everyone.”

In other township news:

• Hebron Fire Chief Randy Weekly said Licking Memorial Hospital Medical Director May Lee Robertson is stepping down from the position. He said the medical director signs off for the medical care the department provides for patients and the director helps the department secure licensing for drugs and medical supplies. Weekly said Robertson, who is medical director for nine departments, wasn’t charging any of them.

“We’ve been fortunate for a long time,” he said. Weekly warned that the new medical director, whoever it may be, may charge the department for services and the department would have no choice but to pay. Weekly said he just wanted to prepare trustees for a potential new expense.

On a side note, Weekly said his department made 115 runs in August, making it the busiest month of the year so far.

• Contractor Bill Gulick has begun work remodeling the Union Township Complex and, according to his contract, needs to complete the work by Oct. 31.

JBA Architects Vice President Greg Cotterman previously said plans are to use the right side of the Union Township Complex for the Union Township

Police Department, which will require two secure doors and a “pass through” window to keep the single officer department separated from the public. Trustees also want to create a small evidence room. So, Cotterman said total plans call for three doors, the window, and the evidence room

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