2017-07-05 / Front Page

Fiscal court OK’s a new treasurer

The Letcher County Fiscal Court officially appointed County Finance Officer Doris Jean Frazier to replace Phillip Hampton as Letcher County Treasurer at a special called meeting held last Wednesday in the District Courtroom. Frazier has served as county finance officer since she was appointed by Judge/Executive Jim Ward following his election in 2006. Hampton announced his retirement at the May 2017 meeting, and at the regular June meeting, the court honored him for his 37 years of service.

Judge Ward informed the court that he intended to name Frazier as county treasurer at a called meeting at the end of May when Frazier conducted the first reading of the 2017- 2018 budget. The second reading of the $7,237,189 balanced budget was passed last week at a called meeting.

At the beginning of the Wednesday, June 28, meeting, Ward announced his intention to appoint Frazier as treasurer, but Fifth District Magistrate Wayne Fleming said the court needed to discuss the salary for the office before making an appointment, adding that in light of the recent layoffs and furloughs for county workers, he felt the salary should be in the $25,000 range. Judge Ward said that he intended for Frazier to be appointed at her current salary of $37,500, and then when a finance officer is hired to replace her, that salary would be set according to personnel policy guidelines, which calls for incoming salary workers to be hired at a base salary of $25,700. He added that following the end of the fiscal year on June 30, the county cannot do business without a county treasurer to sign checks.

Second District Magistrate Terry Adams said he felt like the treasurer’s job should have been advertised and the court should have taken applications. However, Ward said it is up to him to recommend the person for the position and he recommended Frazier. Fleming said he felt the county treasurer should be hired in at the base salary of $25,700, but County Attorney Jamie Hatton said it would be impossible to get a qualified candidate to work for that salary. Fleming then moved that the salary for the incoming treasurer be set at the base rate.

Judge Ward made a motion that Fleming’s motion be tabled. Ward’s motion failed in a three-to-three tie with Fleming, Adams and First District Magistrate Bobby Howard voting against it and Ward, Third District Magistrate Woody Holbrook, and Fourth District Magistrate Keith Adams voting yes.

Hatton then said the county has to have a treasurer, and if Frazier is hired as treasurer at her current salary and the new finance officer comes in at the base rate, it will still cost the county less than the present arrangement. Currently, Frazier makes $37,500 as finance officer and Hampton’s salary as treasurer was $40,299.20.

Terry Adams said the matter should have been discussed before the last meeting of the fiscal year. However, Ward said he had announced his decision to hire Frazier at the end of May and none of the magistrates had brought it up at the two meetings held before June 28.

Ward made a motion to hire Frazier as treasurer at her current salary of $37,500 and hire a finance officer at the base salary. After some confusion as to what a yes or no vote meant, the vote went in favor of Ward’s motion by a count of four to two, with Terry Adams and Fleming voting no and Ward, Howard, Holbrook, and Keith Adams be voting yes. Following two transfers totaling $730 the meeting adjourned.

Return to top