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BREAKING NEWS

Treasurer, auditor jobs may be joined

By Staff | Sep 22, 2008

A resignation by the county treasurer has triggered a plan to combine that position with the one of county auditor.

David Frank has been the Faribault County treasurer for 22 years. His letter of resignation was read at the last county commissioners meeting.

In it he says he plans to retire from the job as of Nov. 30. The board accepted the resignation “with regret.”

Central Services Director Brenda Ripley read the letter at the meeting and told the board of a plan developed by the personnel committee.

The proposal is to make Assistant Treasurer Kathy Anderson the interim treasurer for a three month period.

During that time, the positions of county auditor and county treasurer would be combined.

Current auditor John Thompson would become county auditor/treasurer.

“This is not an unusual move,” Thompson says. “There are 55 counties in Minnesota which have combined the two positions.”

Both offices are elected positions, and the proposal calls for the new auditor/treasurer position to continue to be determined by public vote.

After the three month interim period, Anderson would continue as chief deputy treasurer, although her title could change.

Ripley says another part of the proposal is to hire an accountant who would work in the new auditor/treasurer’s office.

“I am only in favor of the plan if you agree to the accountant,” Thompson tells the board. “Otherwise I can’t fill the duties of both positions without getting bogged down.”

Those duties include county administration, board meetings and elections, among many other things, Thompson says.

“I am not pushing for an increase in salary, and I am fine with the job still being elected,” Thompson says, “But we need an accountant.”

He adds that there should not be a problem with segregation of duties in the two offices.

“We can see some efficiencies and savings which can be done,” he says.

Commissioners did not take any action on the proposal at this time, but did agree that if a change is going to happen, this is the best time to do it.

New Transit Policies

Ripley also presented several new proposed Prairie Express bus policies to the commissioners.

One was a ‘riders’ guide’, another was ‘guidelines for riders and drivers’ and a third was a ‘new fares schedule.’

The fourth new item was a ‘daily trip log.’

“The transit committee has been working on these and we want you to look them over and tell us if we are on the right track,” Ripley explains to the commissioners.

Commissioner Tom Loveall, a member of the committee, says the guides spell out the policies.

“The rider’s guide spells out all the rules,” he says. “There are different rules for the drivers in their policy.”

After the commissioners approve the four policies, they will be presented to the public at meetings around the county.

“We are planning one for Wells, Kiester, Winnebago and Blue Earth,” Ripley says.

Loveall adds the plan is to have the policies in place by January 1.

Basic fare rate is proposed to go from $2 per ride to $3.

“I think that is totally justified,” Commissioner Bill Groskreutz says. “Fuel increases alone would call for it.”