Eliminating treasurer position is the right move

Published 5:49 pm Friday, November 25, 2011

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, the board voted 4-2 to  sign a resolution recommending the elimination of the county treasurer position.

This is a move that has been discussed at length for some time, but it was not until Tuesday that the commission made it official. Talks about eliminating the position escalated earlier this year when Claude Shirley resigned the position and Probate Judge Chip Perry named local CPA Jerry Maxwell was named to fill the spot.

There are 159 counties in Georgia, and currently there are only three counties that still have the elected position of “county treasurer” — Decatur is still technically one of them. The elimination will not become official until local state legislators introduce the resolution in the General Assembly, but that seems to be a formality.

The county treasurer position was once a necessity, to serve as the “watchdog” for the general public and ensure that government officials were not mishandling tax dollars. However, Decatur County now has a full finance department and its budget is also audited each year by an independent firm, effectively doing the same job that the county treasurer was designed to do.

Especially in this age of budget crisis and compounding deficits, it’s important for all governments to eliminate any positions that are outdated or superfluous. This was the right move by the Decatur County Board of Commissioners.