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Bowman renews call for unified finance office

SoVaNow.com / September 04, 2014
Halifax County Board of Supervisors Finance Chairman Doug Bowman renewed his call Tuesday night for a single county finance office to take on the duties now carried out by four different offices.

“I feel it is incumbent upon us to look at ways to cut costs,” Bowman told fellow supervisors at their monthly meeting Tuesday night in Halifax. “There are so many things we cannot control — public safety, social services, solid wastes where regulatory costs continue to rise and we cannot do anything about it. They’re mandated.”

Supervisor J. T. Davis, also a member of the board’s finance committee, reinforced Bowman’s statement, saying the county just spent some $400,000 “to patch up” its E911 system, and adding that the county will have to spend far more – millions of dollars — when the state mandates that E-911 systems must be digital.

Neighboring Pittsylvania County, Davis said, has just spent a huge sum on new E-911 equipment.

In light of the looming expenses, they raised anew the issue of financial consolidation. Bowman pointed out that the county has a finance director, the school system also has a finance director and the two constitutional officers, the Treasurer and the Commissioner of the Revenue, all of whom operate independently of each other.

He suggested that the Board of Supervisors should look at all its options for consolidating financial services as several counties have already done.

“Today’s technology and software far surpasses what we have previously been able to do with our finances,” Bowman pointed out.

He said he hopes the county will be in a position to seek help from VACO (the Virginia Association of Counties) in time to approach legislators to make changes in the upcoming General Assembly session that will enable the county to do things differently.



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Comments

Yes, they need to combine these antiquated offices. I would say merge it all under the treasurer. That way people can have a say. Treasurer can do the commissioner of revenue job etc.

Comments

I know the county has financial problems. This idea makes me wonder if this is a power grab. The Treasurer and Commisioner of Revenue are elected positions and cannot eliminated with the stroke of a pen. The problem with these local elected positions is the elected official retires in the middle of their term and then hands the position down to their cronies. The electorate usually just gives a vote of confidence or elects the chosen person come election time. An example of this is the last election where there was a very competant man running for Treasurer. I have heard from a couple of reputable sources their are problems in the Treasurer's office that are not ethical but no one will talk about it publicly. So I am not yet convinced that combining all of these under one Czar is the right move. This country has more than enough Czars now.

Comments

The Treasurer and Commissioner positions need to be eliminated. There is more unethical and illegal things that go on and no one is allowed to talk about it. Employees jobs are threatened if they even dare speak about it. Look at the delinquent tax lists. See any familar names? No reason we have that much uncollected taxes. Put someone in charge that will collect from all. No more favorites.

Comments

I would be the first to jump on the bandwagon if I thought elimination of the Treas. and Comm of Revenue would help our taxes g down. Hey, remember when the county and Farm Bureau had that looser Nick Long go around and preach that if you voted for a meals tax the county taxes would not increase. Yea right!!!! These butt holes just continue to lie to us to further their agenda. Bowman and Davis used to hate each other now they are joined at the hip or butt!!! Sure they are only looking out for our well being, don't forget...Government knows best.

Comments

Where I "G" = Good for Halifax County on this issue. He is the only genius on the Board. I'm sure he's following Doug around like his puppy.

Comments

Commissioner of Revenue and Treasurer are constitutional offices in the Commonwealth and would take General Assembly action to eliminate either.

They should float a bond referendum to pay for those 911 upgrades rather than sock it to County landowners via real estate and property taxes. But, I see a gobsmacker of a tax hike coming our way.


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