To the Editor-
I recently I read an open letter by Judy Pepinski alleging a smear or witch hunt being perpetrated against the County Treasurer Stephanie Stokes by local media and the county executive.
This letter states that audits of the treasurer’s office are regular; while this is true, the results from the most recent audit results are anything but routine. Baker Tilly’s audit showed major deficiencies in the office. These deficiencies included not complete or up to date accounting and banking reconciliations, no investment or cash forecasting policies and a lack of accounting knowledge by Ms. Stokes.
The deficiency I found most troubling is that the treasurer’s office has preferential treatment to some and not others on an ad-hoc basis on back tax payments.
The individuals who were given this treatment only knew they qualified if they were contacted by the treasurer’s office. I believe every property owner in Portage County should be given the same opportunity when it comes to paying their taxes.
In the before mentioned open letter by Ms. Pepinski, County Executive Patty Drier is also taken to task for communicating the fact that Treasurer Stokes was delinquent on over $200,000 of payment to vendors and County employees. I applaud the Executive for calling out the treasurer for not doing her job in a timely manner.
Ms. Pepinski’s letter is a thinly veiled attempt to hide the incompetence in the Portage County’s Treasurer’s Office by painting a picture of a grand conspiracy between the local media and the county executive.
I ask the citizens of Portage County not to let your intelligence be insulted by this political spin. Next time you cast a vote for county treasurer make sure it is not for Stephanie Stokes!