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Monday, May 2, 2016

County Treasurer office closed until bond paid

Monday, January 4, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Treasurer's Office was closed Monday morning. It will remain so until the county pays the insurance company for the bond for new treasurer Sharon Owens.

Additionally, with no one bonded in the office, county payroll checks cannot be issued this Friday.

Owens appeared before county commissioners Monday, reporting to the board that until a claim submitted for the insurance company is paid, the treasurer's office has to be closed according to State law.

"The issue is that a claim was submitted from the insurance company two weeks ago and the county has not issued the check for the bond and until they do I cannot open the office. It is required under Indiana State statue that the county is required to pay the premium for elected officials bonds," explained Owens.

"The State Board of Accounts said the Treasurer's office could not be open without someone who is bonded in the office. That means checks can't be issued either because I can't sign them," said Owens, who just took over the office from Janet Deaton.

"I just got back from vacation and haven't had a chance to look over things yet," he stated.

Commissioner Kristina Warren told the group that the state had not had a similar occurrence and they recommend turning over the issue to the County Attorney.

Commissioners tabled doing anything until their next meeting on Jan. 19.

The treasurer's office will remain closed until Hoff and Owens work out what needs to be done to get her bonded.

Owen also asked commissioners to approve hiring a new first deputy for the office and changing the other deputy's hours to part time.

By making changes to office personnel, she believed the county commissioners would save $20,000 in their budget due to reduced or no benefits for personnel.

Owens was also able to cut about $30,000 from the budget in other ways, bringing the savings to about $50,000.

At the end of the meeting ,Owens reiterated to the group that until her bond was paid, the treasurer's office would have to be closed and no checks could be issued.

She also reminded them this was a payroll week for county employees.

Commissioners also voted on the organization of their board, naming Gene Beck as president and Warren as vice president.

Beck reported he heard from Roachdale ambulance service PMH about a concern with Operation Life (OL) not providing daily coverage in the town of Bainbridge from 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m.

Apparently, OL is only staffing the Bainbridge area one or two days a week.

PMH is concerned about not being dispatched in northern Putnam County when OL is not in Bainbridge.

Hoff recommended a meeting between all the parties plus one of the commissioners to hammer out an agreement.

Putnam County Highway Manager Jim Smith reported to the board the West Walnut Street project ended up costing $844,388.83. The projected cost was $881,715. The cost of the project was paid by INDOT.

The next meeting of the county commissioners is at 4 p.m. Jan. 19.

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I think it needs to be said that the bond that was approved by the bond company has been sitting on the desk in the Auditor's Office for two week's. The commissioners have had plenty of time to pay this bond.

So pay the bond. What's the problem.

-- Posted by concern citizen on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 1:08 PM

How nice of them to table it until January 19th when this should be their top priority! We can't go indefinitely without a paycheck until they get this figured out. What are these families suppose to do when both husband and wife work for the County?

-- Posted by indianaresident on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 1:31 PM

The situation that Ms. Warren refers to has been around for a year, this appears to be a power grab and not a true concern by commisioners. The incompetence at the county level is probably directly related to the number of family members and friends who run it. Watch this situation, there is more to it.

-- Posted by justasking on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 1:46 PM

The Treasurer isn't an appointed position, it is an elected position. Apparently, Mrs. Owens is who the people in Putnam County elected to run the office. Good, Bad, or indifferent. When did the auditor and or commissioners get to decide whether that person is going to get to take office or not by not paying the bond?

-- Posted by indianaresident on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 2:47 PM

I guess the part I don't get is that there has been a year to get this taken care of. We all knew she was going to be taking office, why was this not addressed soon after she was elected. If financial issues are the cause of it, there still has been a year to work on this. Nothing like waiting till the last minute and then start scrambling to get this squared away. If the bond is overly expensive and the county doesn't want to pay it then she needs to resign so we can have someone else placed in the position. What next...prequalification for our elected officials?

-- Posted by NotreDameFan01 on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 2:52 PM


-- Posted by Sand mann on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 3:14 PM

Sounds like Putnam county needs a whole new lot of commissioners. This county is going down the tubes. Mr. Hoff needs to man-up and start working a little harder since his vacation is now over.

-- Posted by killintime on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 3:25 PM

I can't believe that that the commissioners are so disconnected that they think that anyone in this economy can afford to work without getting paid. Do they want everyone to just go home, do they want to do all of those jobs or maybe just shut the county gov't down. Maybe let the prisoners go from the sherriffs dept.,If this doesn't wake up the voters and let them know we need some new blood in there nothing will.

-- Posted by T.C. FATHER OF 2 on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 4:06 PM

maybe before the county worries about shutting down the Public Defenders office and taking away those jobs from people who do their job. Maybe they should do theirs our get out of office before they mess up the county anymore then they already have.

-- Posted by fighting mad on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 4:41 PM