Kent Levy Court signs resolution backing bill to cut comptroller’s job

 

DOVER — Kent County Levy Court commissioners signed a resolution Tuesday in support of a House bill to eliminate the state’s last remaining county comptroller.

Levy Court has been pushing to eliminate the office since 2011.

House Bill 276, which would do just that, was introduced in the General Assembly last week by Rep. Sean Lynn, D-Dover.

Commissioners said in January the position is not needed since another department now handles the duties.

Its elimination would save the county about $150,000 annually, they said. That includes salaries, benefits, expenses and related positions.

New Castle and Sussex did away with their county comptrollers more than 40 years ago.

Kent commissioners hope to eliminate the post before the position’s current term ends in 2017.

“The office served us well in Kent County,” said Commissioner Terry Pepper. “It’s past its prime. It’s redundant as to what they do and it will save the taxpayers a whole lot of money.”

The Kent County comptroller audits all accounts for the Levy Court and row offices.

The position also is responsible for reviewing financial records of public agencies that receive appropriations from the county and communicates with local banks regarding county funds.

Currently, the checks and balances are handled by processes that have been approved and vetted by the Kent County Levy Court commissioners, and includes more than two layers of approvals before final approval by the county administrator.

The elected office is a four-year term that is up for election in 2016, which ends in the first week of January 2017. While it is included in the election cycle, it is not a partisan position.

Current officeholder Georgette Williams is also supportive of the effort and plans to retire when her term ends in January.

“She was nice to have around,” Commissioner Glen Howell said. “Everybody loved her and she could have the distinction of being the last comptroller in Kent County.”

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