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Treasurer troubles

September 14, 2011 - Clarkston has a new treasurer.

City Council voted 5-1, Sept. 12, to hire Sandra Barlos as treasurer. Councilmen Richard Bisio voted "no" and Councilman Jim Brueck was absent.

Next time, Bisio and Councilman Chuck Inabnit want more involvement.

"For the money we have to put out, which is very limited, we have to be picky," Inabnit said. "The council as a whole needs to take a little more charge, I think."

The council should drive the direction of the city, he said.

"I think we should at least know what the direction we're pushing, and hiring the people who can get us there."

Bisio agreed.

"I am concerned about what happens in the future. We've bought ourselves a little bit of time by replacing the (city) police department with the sheriff's department," he said. "That's saved some money but the trends are still there of property values going down and expenses going up."

Bisio also pointed out the treasurer position is more than just an accountant.

"Equally or perhaps more important are the budget preparation and administration, and state law compliance functions," he said. "Thus, I believe the treasurer needs to be experienced with municipal budgeting and finances."

Mayor Joe Luginksi agreed the council approves the hire, but the role of the city manager is to "vet out possible candidates" through resumes, calls, and interviews.

Luginski said this is how things "have always been done," but has no problem with more involvement by council members.

"The council as a whole, our job is to approve recommendations unless we find something wrong with that person or the process that's being put in," Luginski said.

Inabnit also offered an apology for his comments he made concerning the former treasurer at the Aug. 22 meeting ("New Treasurer for Clarkston," Aug. 31).

"What started out as a conversation about people being qualified took a very bad turn and most of my comments were not directed towards Kim. Unfortunately they came out that way. Kim never gave anything but 110 percent when she worked here and she gave her best," Inabnit said. "I apologize to her and her family and talked to her last week and she's gracious as she always has been."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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