Candidates for treasurer of Fairfax City were asked the following question by The Washington Post:
Efficiency: What would you do to ensure the efficient operation of the office of city treasurer?
Philip Ferraro, 55, of 10110 Cornwall Rd., retired from federal service this year after 25 years of financial experience in government and private industry. He holds a degree in accounting and has served as a town auditor and school board member in other states. He also has been active in local youth and community groups.
Efficiency: The treasurer has almost complete control and responsibility over an approximate $25 million revenue process. To reduce possibility of fraud and improve efficiency of the treasurer's office, some of my recommendations are as follows: 1) Segregate billing and receivables function from receipts function. 2) At least twice a year conduct internal audits. 3) Provide on-the-job staff training. 4) Periodically rotate duties of staff members. 5) Receipt forms must be signed by the employee receiving the funds and include the purpose and type of payment. 6) Mail must be inspected by two staff members, one opening the mail and the other registering the funds. The register must be signed and dated by both employees. 7) Deposit and reconcile receipts daily and retain cash register tapes. 8) Report receipts daily to the comptroller. 9) Confirm delinquent accounts. 10) Maintain a complaint log and resolve complaints promptly. 11) Periodically publish office operation reports. 12) Before signing checks, review the authorization, purchase orders and invoices.
G. Thomas Lumpkin, 30, of 10535 Cedar Ave., became assistant treasurer of Fairfax City in October 1980, but resigned in July 1981 while serving under former treasurer Frances Cox. After Cox was defeated last fall, Lumpkin returned as an assistant treasurer, a post he continues to hold. He holds an MBA from the University of Southern California.
Efficiency: Steps taken by the Coughlan administration in 1982 to improve internal controls over cash-handling and record-keeping go a long way toward ensuring efficient operation of the treasurer's office. The following policies were established early in 1982 and remain in force today: 1) prompt depositing of all funds received; 2) division of responsibilities among treasurer's office employees (handling of cash and checks is separated from accounting and record-keeping), and 3) use of a "lock box" method of collections (payments for water bills and taxes are mailed to a post office box serviced by a bank). Other practices certain to ensure greater efficiency include: 1) prompt and regular billing of delinquent accounts; 2) putting all transactions through a cash register so daily revenues can be checked against daily cash register totals, and 3) posting all treasurer's reports and dollar transactions to the computer. Expanded use of data processing deserves great attention and will enhance efficient operations in the treasurer's office.
Stephen L. Moloney, 33, of 11009 Fairchester Dr., is a field auditor and program manager in agent training for the Internal Revenue Service. He is a certified public accountant. He has been president of the Fairchester Woods Civic Association and helped organize the first neighborhood crime watch program in Fairfax City.
Efficiency: I will establish confidence in the office of the city treasurer by providing a professional approach to all phases of its operation. The primary responsibility of the Fairfax City treasurer is the accurate accounting of city funds. If elected, I will apply my educational background and experience I have gained from working with hundreds of accounting systems to improve the current systems of the city where necessary. I will design and implement efficient accounting systems and proper internal controls that will ensure the accurate accounting and daily deposit of city funds. The accounting systems I employ will identify delinquent accounts, expedite collection of funds due the city, render daily reports to the city comptroller and provide maximum return on city investments. I will use my managerial experience to develop policies and personnel procedures that will complement the accounting systems, strengthen internal controls and provide prompt, accurate responses to citizens' inquiries.
J. L. (Jack) Reed Jr., 58, of 3854 University Dr., is a management consultant in financial and marketing areas. He has a bachelor's degree in business and finance and held a variety of management positions with General Motors Corp. He is active in the local American Legion, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce and other groups.
Efficiency: Demonstrate a take-charge attitude. Provide the citizens and merchants with stronger feeling for the office which will be evidenced by prompt and efficient handling of their city's monies. Will, at my own expense, work a transitional period with the present treasurer and plan to work more effectively with the city officers to help provide a stronger feeling of cooperation in our city hall area. Will effectively use over 30 years of education, training and experience to bring my program home.
W. Tilghman Scott Jr., 51, of 3508 Cornell Rd., began McLean Lawn Service Inc., six years ago after working in sale and management for Blue Cross and Blue Shield. A member of the City Council from 1978 until earlier this year, he majored in accounting, financial management and business administration at the University of Virginia.
Efficiency: Organizational changes will be made within the treasurer's office; restoration of citizen confidence is my top priority.I will departmentalize treasury functions, making audit and income responsibility separate functions acting to verify work of each other. This will insure accuracy of daily reporting. Existing controls will be strengthened and available, unused controls will be activated to produce the business relationships demanded by disquieted citizens. Expanded lock box usage will speed deposit of city funds, and coordination with the commissioner of the revenue and comptroller will gude investment policy. Inventory of forms and asset items together with expanded use of available automated equipment will provide a finite degree of responsibility and accountability. My progressive business record and more than twenty years spent in community and public service evidence my ability and dedication. I have the kind of experience needed to fulfill treasurer responsibilities and restore citizen faith -- experience where it really counts.