County to hire new deputy treasurer

County to hire new deputy treasurer

Quorum court agrees to fund assistant position

When County Treasurer Charlie Suiter first took office he got a quick visit by the state auditor with some advice.

He needed to hire a second deputy treasurer to handle some of the work load.

“The auditor came to me and explained what kind of problems this was causing,” Suiter told the Quorum Court. “As far as segregation of duties, this is as worse as it can get.”

Suiter said in addition to handling the traditional duties of the treasurer’s office, the treasurer’s office in Crittenden County is one of the few in the state that also have other duties such as administering insurance as well.

Currently, the office only has one other employee, Deputy Treasurer Jane Coltharp.

Suiter asked the Quorum Court to fund another position in his office so he can delegate some of those duties to another employee.

“He was talking about how we needed to get somebody in here,” Suiter said. “There are only two or three in the state who do all that Jane does and it scares them. So that’s where the issue arises.”

Justice Lorenzo Parker, who chairs the county’s personnel committee, said the position is much needed.

“Jane is basically the only other person in the office,” Parker said. “And God help us if something should happen to her. It would shut the office down.”

Suiter looked at other counties similar in size to Crittenden County and found that Jefferson County is the closest in size and it has two employees in the treasurer’s office.

“They do have two people in addition to the treasurer in their office,” Suiter said.

Suiter suggested the county set the salary at $42,500 but the personnel committee members felt that was too close to Coltharp’s for an entry level position.

The chief deputy in Jefferson County earns $42,500 a year and the assistant treasurer is paid $30,000.

Coltharp is paid $50,000.

“That’s why we backed it down,” Parker said. “We went back and forth a little bit on the salary. We felt like mid to high $30s. Mr.

Suiter wanted something in the $40s.”

Suiter can, however, hire someone with more experience and go up to 12 percent above the pay scale if he chooses to.

Justice Vickie Robertson said while she agrees the position is needed, was in favor of hiring someone part time.

“That was my only reservation,” Robertson said. “I think we need to try it out as part time.”

Suiter said finding someone to work part time with those skills would be difficult.

“I’ve entertained that thought too for quite some time,” Suiter said. “But everyone I talked with said to get somebody with experience

it would need to be

full time.”

Justice Lisa O’Neal agreed.

“I think it needs to be full time,” O’Neal said.

“I agree,” added Justice Hubert Bass. “I’m just wondering what took so long.”

The Quorum Court voted to created the deputy treasurer position with a salary set at $38,000.

By Mark Randall