Dukes County Charter Study Commission
Work Group for Treasurer’s Office
Mission: MGL Chapter 35 Section 10 -- to collect, receive and safely keep all money belonging to the
county and disburse it according to law. I have attached the pertinent sections of Chapter 35.
Scope of Operations: Cash receipts, cash disbursements, general ledger, payroll and benefits
administration for all county departments and employees as defined in MGL 35. Since counties do not
have a County Accountant, the County Treasurer’s office completes both functions. Although the budget
approved by the County Commissioners, Advisory Board and County Government Finance Review Board
only includes the County’s General Fund operations and Martha’s Vineyard Airport, the following is the
total expenditures for each FY03-FY06.
Retirement system chair and supervision of office per MGL Chapter 32.
Other duties as described below or as situations warrant.
Treasurer’s activities: Personnel: Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, ½ time Sr. Financial Clerk
Receive funds from all departments and certify turnover sheets
Research MassFinance transfers
Process revenue function in accounting program
Deposit funds in bank
Keep a cover sheet of each deposit with a copy of all checks
Maintain files organized by deposit number for future reference
Prepare annual bi-weekly schedule for warrants
Receive warrants from all county departments
Review all invoices for detail, accuracy, no sales tax, allowed costs and proper tax
information (this is done 4 times for each warrant by Asst. Treas., County Manager,
Treasurer and financial clerk)
Input each invoice into accounts payable computer program (6,350 invoices in FY06)
Reconcile master warrant to individual warrants
Print checks, process and mail payments
Copy all completed warrants and return copy to department heads
Enter warrant information on each folder in Accounts payable file and file same
File all computer printouts in proper notebooks
Transfer money from respective accounts to cover payments
Require W-9s of all vendors, input same into vendor file
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Prepare annual 1099 tax forms for vendors
Send annual information to IRS
Receive accounting of County Engineer & Pest Control hours
Forward to Executive Assistant for County Manager’s review and mailing
Record payments as received
Prepare annual schedule for semi-monthly payroll warrants
Receive warrants from all county departments
Input payroll into accounting program (average 85 employees)
Review for proper pay rate, overtime paid and deductions
Research differences that have not been documented by department head, personnel
manager and county manager
Reconcile master warrant to individual warrants
Process payroll and print direct deposit vouchers and checks
Collate notices to employees (if any) with vouchers and/or checks. Staple each check 4
times for privacy, distribute to departments.
Pay taxes through DOR website and IRS EFTPS
Process deduction checks
Reconcile and pay all support, student loan lien and tax lien payments as ordered
Reconcile and pay union, disability, life and other benefit payments
Collate and mail same
Transfer money to cover deduction payments
File all computer printouts in proper notebooks
File monthly state withholding returns
Reconcile, file and pay quarterly 941s, state withholding, unemployment and
unemployment health returns
Allocate proportionate share of unemployment and unemployment health to all
Reconcile and prepare W-2 forms, file with SSA
Prepare annual individual letter to each employee regarding “total pay” package
Review annual workers compensation policy with Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance
Association (MIIA). Review policies for bonds, property and liability insurance with
Solicit quotes from other companies.
Allocate proportionate share to pertinent departments and reconcile total insurance costs
with department expenses
Collect “Report of First Injury” from departments, review for completeness and file with
Division of Industrial Accidents. Submit and follow up on all claims (medical and salary).
County contact with agent for all workers’ compensation claims and information.
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Work with MIIA’s auditors regarding annual Workers’ Comp audit.
Safely keep all policies as permanent files of county (100 years)
Research department head questions with agent
Prepare budget worksheets for all departments.
Prepare fringe benefit calculation for department heads
Input all revisions of budget in computer.
Prepare budget summary pages as directed by manager and commissioners (previous year
spent or previous year budget with current budget and requested budget) as many times as
Calculate & re-calculate salaries and fringes with each revision.
Review budgets with County Manager
Meet with advisory board members and explain budget process
Works with Department of Revenue’s Local Services employees for clarification of any
questions of the County Finance Review Board before their approval of annual and
Review appropriation control reports for deficiencies
Review same with department heads
Collect transfer and supplemental appropriation requests from department heads
Prepare all transfer sheets for advisory board
Attend advisory board meeting to answer questions
Confer with DOR when supplemental budget arrives, but before going to County
Government Finance Review Board
Enter approved updated appropriations in computer and reconcile
General Ledger – 92 funds, 3870 accounts -Official financial records of county. Safeguard all
financial records according to Massachusetts Archives.
Cash management of county funds.
Borrow funds as needed for bonds and RANs
Prepare notes and clerk’s certificate
Prepare informational sheets and checks as required by DOR
Obtain signatures of commissioners
Obtain signature of county clerk
Keep record of all capital assets purchased and disposed of
Reconcile all bank accounts to cash in the general ledger.
Research and prepare reports for all departments as requested for tracking of income and
Accounting for all grants
proper documentation and signatories
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keep “official county files” of same
Allocate deeds excise collections to Sheriff, Registry of Deeds and County as per MGL
File sales tax returns
Enterprise accounting for MVY- Since only cities and towns are allowed to have
Enterprise Fund under MGL, we treat the airport as an enterprise by reporting on a full
accrual basis and segregating all income and expense. See attached copy of MGL Chapter
44 Section 53F ½ as well as a DOR publication regarding the same.
Enter all airport deposits as journal entries
Allocate all employment taxes to proper departments
Prepare worksheets for retiree health and life by fund
Charge appropriate fund for retiree health & life
Prepare worksheets for allocation of overhead
Measure all files
Measure all deposits
Calculate occupancy expense
Calculate each fund’s share of “central administration”
Charge funds an estimated amount quarterly
Adjust to actual after year end and before audit
Update continuing disclosure as requested by bond holder
Audit preparation and assistance (see attached audit checklist)
Work with auditors to insure compliance with other county departments
Implement procedures for all departments as suggested in management letter
Benefits Administration: Acts as Human Resource department for the County’s 100 +/- employees
Prepare new employee folders for permanent workers
mandatory forms (I-9, W-4, retirement system membership form)
optional benefit brochures
travel and reimbursement policies
sick bank explanation and application
Workers’ Compensation forms
Prepare new employee folders for seasonal workers
mandatory forms (I-9, W-4 and OBRA form)
Workers’ Compensation forms
Explain all benefits each employee.
County participates in:
Retirement (in place of Social Security)
Health Insurance- 5 plans (90/10 split)
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Life insurance ($20,000 each employee pays $2.00 per month County pay $16.60
Employee pays 100%
Long and short term disability
Deferred compensation (2 plans)
Follow up appointment with new employees to collect mandatory information and answer
Perform COBRA notification functions
Keep individual folders with employee salary and benefit selection information (not
personnel files), including confidential liens and support orders
Bill retiree beneficiaries semi-annually for their 100% premium payments.
Working knowledge of MGL Chapter 32B
Attend seminars for benefit of all employees (EAP)
Treasurer currently serves as Chairman of the Cape Cod Municipal Health Group
(CCMHG). Please visit ccmhg.com.
First joint purchase group in Massachusetts (1987)
CCMHG is the second largest joint purchase group in Massachusetts
51 municipal units on the Cape & Islands and 21,000 lives
Offers medical and dental plans for active employees and retirees
9,974 medical contracts and 5,406 dental contracts in FY06
$116 ,000,000.00 dollar business
Canadian purchasing for some prescriptions
Free generic drugs for some prescriptions
Must understand all benefit plans offered to coordinate annual benefits fair for all
employees of county, towns, commissions and districts.
Work with CCMHG’s wellness coordinator for Martha’s Vineyard
Retirement Office – Personnel – Administrator, ¾ time Asst. Administrator
MGL Chapter 32 Section 20(3) Systems for Counties
Must have working knowledge on MGL Chapter 32
Member ex-officio and chairman
Prepares monthly meetings
Manages retirement office - 20 (3)(d) – “The retirement board chairman shall employ such
clerical and other assistants as may be required to transact the business of the county
20 (3)(f) Treasurer-custodian of system
Works with Administrator & Assistant to educate unit treasurers of their responsibilities
according to Mass. General Law and PERAC
Only signatory on all bank & investment accounts
$55,000,000.00 million in assets; earned 14.8% in 2006
Cash management responsibilities to maximize earnings
Reconciles banks statements per PERAC guidelines
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Work with PERAC auditor and research questions as necessitated
Organized all 16 units to collaborate on actuarial services for GASB 45
Attend national and state conferences and workshops as required by PERAC for
continuing education regarding investment trends and practices, legislative changes and to
explore new benefits for system members
Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank
As per legislation review all bills and sign expense and payroll checks
With Office Manager transfer investment funds as needed
Authorize wire transfers for bond payments
Review Official Statement when going out to bond ($80,000,000.00!!!!)
Research investment opportunities
Suggest office procedures to improve audit trail
Input monthly reports from Town Clerks regarding licenses sold
Collect license fees from towns
Pay for injured animals and livestock
Disburse funds for dog tags and licenses.
Pay to the towns their proportionate share of the fund balance for the benefit of the public
library or school
Bulk order of tags and licenses for savings to all towns
MV Parking Clerk Personnel – ½ time Sr. Financial Clerk
One regional office provides efficient collection of parking tickets for all six towns of the island by
providing a central payment location. In FY07 (July through March) there have been 1502 people in the
office to either pay tickets, dispute tickets or ask questions.
Previously the parking clerk position was from 8:30-12:30 daily, however in the current office
configuration we are able to offer full time office coverage (with the cost of a half time position)
for the convenience of the general public.
Ability to log into Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
Requires a security application by appointed parking clerk.
Ability to clear tickets for ease of renewal of licenses and registrations for all island citizens
Interacts with all island police departments for collection of habitual offenders’ fines
Cooperation between the Plymouth County Treasurer’s office and Parking Clerk has provided an
opportunity for more economical processing of tickets than the previous private sector vendor
Reviews policies and procedures of Plymouth County’s processing of tickets for accurate
posting of all island parking tickets
Sets up hearings schedule with Hearings Officer and Plymouth County.
Monthly payments of tickets collected paid to towns.
Management of bulk order of parking tickets for all towns which allows a lower printing cost
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Recommends fine adjustments and increases to the selectman and chiefs of police of each town
Prepares report for inclusion in county’s published annual report
Assistant Treasurer/Parking Clerk
Senior Financial Clerk
Administrator of Retirement System
Relationships with other public and non-public entities
County Advisory Board
Advisory Council for Retirement System expenditures (Treasurer from each unit)
Department of Revenue – Bill Meehan, Anthony Rassias(Deputy Director of Accounts), Bill
Arrigal (for notes & bonds), Jim Johnson(Retired- Director of Accounts)
Auditors – Powers & Sullivan
None that belong specifically to the Treasurer’s office. County assets.
Treasurer’s office budget
FY07 $ 221,605.76
Parking Clerk budget
FY07 $ 38,526.26
Annually through audit and management letter. The audit does not just review the accounting in
the Treasurer’s office, it reviews procedures, grants, other departments’ financial controls and helps
In general this office has provided a continuity of operations as managers, advisory board members and
commissioners as to the financial operations of the county.
Acting County Manager when County Manager is out of state.
Tammy’s office is virtually a receptionist office for the administration building.
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The work group asked for information regarding time estimates for each of the functions described above
and which functions are statutory and which are “agreed upon”. I have attached a spreadsheet showing
“Allocation of Duties” which addresses those questions.
Also there were the following inquiries about personnel:
How are salaries set:
Treasurer (Elected Official)– budget process, no benefit of personnel by-laws.
Assistant Treasurer & Senior Financial Clerk (Employees)– are governed by the County’s
Personnel By-Laws and Classification Plan.
Treasurer through audit process.
Employees- Annually by Treasurer (as do all department heads). Evaluation then goes to County
Manger for review of goals and recommendations. Manager approves for employee to received step
Who hires staff? Treasurer would interview and decide who to offer the job to. The Manager
must approve the salary if not being offered at Step 1 on the appropriate grade.
What has happened to the Treasurer’s Office in abolished counties? All treasurers were allowed to
finish their terms to help with the “orderly transfer” as described in MGL 34A. In three counties, the
Treasurer was made Director of the Retirement System. One retired. It is not the same for all as there is
no mandatory position for the Treasurer as part of MGL 34B.
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Phase 2- Potential changes – Within current county structure:
Strengths- STAFF!! They are loyal to county. Appreciate their jobs. They are willing to work on
any project to improve regional government and public perception of county.
Opportunities for improvement: Have ability to allow all departments to view accounting
program and research their income and expenses.
Financial or other constraints: Financial!!
New services and activities:
1. We can offer regionalization of administrative functions. Why should all regional offices
have someone paying bills and processing payroll? The towns could save on repetitive charges.
2. We can offer the collection of past due vehicle excise tax. The process is governed by
MGL and we could work the program as the Parking Clerk’s office. It would allow the general public
that has outstanding excise that is holding up their license or registration renewal to pay it here (close to
the registry) without trying to find parking at town halls. At this time all tax collectors contract with
someone off island to perform this function. By bringing it under the county we could leave our citizen’s
dollars on island.
3. Another option is the collection of real estate taxes. This was suggested by the auditors
since some tax collectors now use lock box services. Again we could keep the money one island.
Opportunities for collaboration with others: vault space, County “town meeting”
Reallocation of resources and potential impacts?
Abolish ? (which also includes setting up a “regional government” not considered a county)
Commonwealth pays 75% of market value and offsets that to 100% of liabilities (unfunded
liabilities for health insurance and retirement)
Assets: All real estate must be offered to Commonwealth first. Airport reverts to FAA
(who does not run airports) so it could go to Massachusetts Aeronautics Commissions (who does not run
airports) so it could go to MassPort (who runs Logan, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airports).
Employees: Those losing their jobs would be: manager, executive assistant, treasurer,
assistant treasurer, senior financial clerk, pest control, VHCAP director clerk, and health /environment
worker. Airport would follow enterprise. Sheriff & Registry to state. Lower benefits and no local office
for benefit consultation.
County retirees: Stay in “Dukes County Regional Retirement System”(new name), but
health benefits would be through GIC. Their contribution for health would increase, which I find
unconscionable for someone on a fixed income!
Increased workload: Towns Dog Fund
Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank (need new legislation)
Increased costs: Airport for duties now performed by Treasurer’s Office,
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Towns for emergency dispatch ($680,000), regional lock-ups, engineering, rodent
control, parking clerks, for veterans’ agents (new legislation needed), for Cape Cod EM ($11,500), to be
part of Barnstable County Purchasing
COMSOG rent from state??
Lost revenue: Registry of Deeds fees & Registry’s share of excise ($375,000),County’s
share of excise ($115,000), Sheriffs’ alarm fees ($120,000), Cape & Islands License Plate ($115,000)
Lost programs?? Sheriff’s Department (his share of the excise would go to state)
Loss of control? Assessed costs, beaches, airport, etc.
This is not an “official” or exhaustive list of the potential impact of abolishing the county,
but a quick review.