Friday, May 8, 2009

Controller Question Number 1

Here is the first question posed to the six candidates who are running for Luzerne County Controller. This is the first of a series of questions.

Question 1: What will be your top priority as controller?

Nanda Palissery

Top priority is getting the audits completed on time and reorganizing the office to work more efficiently. I also intend to devise a protocol to meet with and communicate with the commissioners and all department heads on a regular basis to discuss county spending and a procedure whereby future contracts may be reviewed in advance of execution.

Bob Sypniewski


Edd Brominski

Establishing a system whereby each bill submitted has a code verifying payment..i.e. Authorized by BID, Office Holder , less than required amount necessary for bid or emergency as some examples.

Alice Coffman

Have financial reports brought up to date. This is very crucial to have up to date information available to the public and for budget purposes. The most recent Financial Statements are for December 31, 2006 issued January 7, 2009. This absolutely amazes me. I believe it is due to the lack of experience.

Bob Morgan

My top priority will be to use my real world business experience to provide leadership in the Controller's office for the citizens of Luzerne County. I believe our next Controller needs to review and reorganize the functions of the office to ensure that we meet the required responsibilities in a timely fashion. I believe our internal audit staff needs to grow in irder to complete the tasks required of the office which include internal audits of the row offices, tax collectors and magisterial offices. I would also look toward expanding the audit oversight to include all county department and agencies and the Luzerne County Community College which receives approximately 5% of the county budget but is not currently audited by the Controller's Office. While many of the agencies, LCCC for example, are audited by state and federal government agencies I believe the Controller's office should also be responsible for oversight in these areas as well.
I believe my over 20 years experience in the financial services field will allow me to bring a unique perspective to the the Controller's office. I will use this experience especially in my role as a member of the Retirement Board which is responsible for the management of the county retirement plan. I pledge to be an active advocate for the taxpayers and the employees of Luzerne County to ensure this plan is managed in a sound and responsible way. I believe my prior life experience, especially my years of working with large corporate retirement plans, provides a level of professionalism not previously evident on the Retirement Board. This asset pool must be managed in a sound and prudent fashion because the effect on the greater budget can be devastating, as an example we are faced with a $17 million deficit which will require the taxpayers to take on additional levels of debt, 2/3 of this deficit represents the $11 million Annual Required Contribution for the pension plan. I believe the Board will benefit from taking a proactive approach to managing our retirement liability that will have a positive effect on the taxpayers in the long run.

Walter Griffith
1. My Top Priority will be to bring to the Controller's Office a person that will be there every day from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM so that if there are any questions or concerns from any of the staff or Commissioners, I will be there to answer them and to direct the staff in the office. I will not be a "Phone Call" Controller.

2. The second priority is to get the audits completed so that the County will comply with the DCED Guidelines and therefore allow the County to become eligible to recieve loans from the State.

3. The third Priority is to make sure that all County Contracts and Bids for contracts are followed according to the County Code that states that all contracts must be bid.

1 comment:

A Lucky Democrat said...

Shouldn't your top priority be to stop writing threatening emails to journalists?