To the Editor:
I am so distressed to see the stories about our Portage County treasurer. They unfairly imply that the treasurer herself is doing something wrong. Using insinuations and suppositions, these are not news reports, and certainly not front page news. They smell like a witch hunt.
Every story mentions that the office was audited, implying that being audited itself indicates some impropriety. It doesn’t. Every treasurer’s office is audited regularly according to state law.
Every story mentions that an employee in the office was accused of improperly using funds. True, but that problem wasn’t discovered by the audit but by the treasurer herself who then acted responsibly in removing the employee.
Most recently the treasurer was taken to task because funds posted on a Friday didn’t show up on the next Monday. Duh! When have any of us posted something on a Friday expecting it to be dealt with the next Monday? The receiving office has its own schedule of tasks and won’t necessarily get to our posting immediately.
Finally, to imply that the treasurer was too busy writing a letter to the editor instead of posting those funds is utter nonsense. A person usually takes several days on her own time to compose a letter. That bit of sniping was just nasty.
What these reports overlook is that the current treasurer is knowledgeable and conscientious. And she has in fact saved the county quite a bit of money. When she took office and found a number of overdue tax bills, instead of instituting foreclosures or calling in a debt collection agency, she personally contacted the property owners and set up payment procedures with them. The county got its money and the owners got to keep their property. This is just one example of the sensible and appropriate steps she has always taken.
When we see so much political nastiness on the national scene, it is discouraging to find it in our own county. I had hoped that local officials and media had more decency and common sense. I have no idea what the motivation for this smear campaign might be, but I’d like it to stop.
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