The Harrison County Treasurer Jamie Noland and the Harrison County Commissioners have been at odds for the past few years and each is doing their best to be a thorn in the side of the other. The county treasurer is not doing her job or is at best only making a half-hearted effort.
Recently, it was revealed that Noland did not invest the excess cash revenue the county receives in tax receipts, as directed by fellow members of the county investment committee. It was reported earlier this month that this neglect has potentially cost the county around $40,000 in generated funds this fiscal year. These receipts come from tax-paying businesses and residents – you and me – who do what is told to them by the government. Because the taxes were not invested timely, Harrison county government lost out on badly needed extra funds.
This is far from the first problem the county has had with the treasurer, only the latest. For years, the county has complained about receiving treasury reports weeks overdue, the county bank accounts not balanced timely, as well as the treasurer’s multiple absences, which consequently created a lack of transparency for the county.
Last year, the commissioner had enough and in response to the lack of doing her job, the County Commissioners cut the Treasurer’s annual pay in half for one year. This lack of investing the funds by the Treasurer, in our opinion, was a shot across the bow by the county treasurer to the county commission for cutting her pay. Each side has earned the other’s ire but its often the taxpayers’ pocket book that suffers in disagreements between political officials. Costing the taxpayers money over a disagreement is not smart and playing ‘gotcha’ does not help anyone.
The County Treasurer has said she was not ‘comfortable’ with the recommendation of the committee. This is a weak argument, as the funds were to be invested in Treasury Bills, one of the safest investments available. This sounds to us like more of the same – not doing your job.
If you are not comfortable you speak up – not disregard your job and hope no one notices. Now that her disregard has been brought to light, the County Treasurer says she will invest the money – if the commissioner’s court orders it to be done. And the commissioners court so ordered the excess money to be invested. Noland said she would write a letter, notifying commissioners she is uncomfortable with the investment.
This is Noland’s last year in office, as she will be exiting in December. In her time remaining we have one suggestion — do your job.