By Scott Tibbs, June 27, 2012
When beleaguered Monroe County Auditor Amy Gerstman (a Democrat) wanted to keep some part time workers on staff, she transferred $7,000 from the budget for her own salary to pay those employees in a sneaky and underhanded attempt to increase the budget for her department.
The ability to move funds within a category is a good one, because a department with a surplus in one line item can move funds to cover another one without needing an additional appropriation. But there was no surplus in Gerstman's line item and she was certainly not taking a pay cut - she knows the county is still obligated to pay her full salary. By spending that money elsewhere, she could force the county council to approve an additional appropriation later in the year. Gerstman then moved the money back after being called out for her unethical behavior.
Gerstman's aborted transfer of funds is small potatoes compared to the mess she is facing regarding the county credit card scandal. She used her county credit card to pay for personal expenses, including connecting it to a PayPal account for the purposes of paying tuition for her children to attend private school. She also had the county pay over $2,500 for a training trip she did not take.
The Democrats' mismanagement of the Auditor's Office predates Gerstman. Sandy Newmann's arrogance was so obscene in hiring her daughter to process payroll that the County Commissioners amended the personnel policy to prohibit nepotism shortly thereafter. Major problems with payroll followed, leading to several Democratic elected officials calling on Newmann to resign from office.
Do we really want to elect yet another Democrat to run this office, after the Democratic Party has driven it into the ground? Let's not forget that the Democratic candidate for Auditor, Steve Saulter, is the chief financial officer in that department and went along with the unethical transfer of funds. Furthermore, if Saulter is such an asset to the office, why didn't he put a stop to the abuse of county credit cards? Given that Saulter already has a long string of personal financial problems - just like his boss - this is just another strike against him.
We need to clean up the Auditor's office, and the only way to do that is to elect a Republican. The Republican candidate has 25 years of experience in that office and a great deal of institutional knowledge. If voters pull the "D" lever simply because they like Barack Obama (which is what happened in 2008) then the 8-year Democratic reign of error, incompetence and corruption will be extended to a 12-year Democratic reign of error, incompetence and corruption.
We must not allow that to happen!