Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Luck o' the Irish?

Scranton found a $12,000,000 pot of gold in Fidelity Bank recently. According to the Scranton Times, the Scranton tax collector’s office has found approximately $12,000,000 in surplus funds that no one seems to be able to explain. Ken McDowell, Democrat and former Tax Collector of the City of Scranton, was the elected official responsible for managing that office and its money.

Ken McDowell has had a troubled history in that office. During his 2005 re-election campaign, late tax returns became an issue. At the time, McDowell blamed a new computer system that was designed to modernize the office. Taxpayers obviously took him at his word that this would be resolved after the election since they returned him to the office for a second term.

McDowell has also had a difficult time with the employees he managed as Tax Collector. There were multiple grievances filed during his tenure, 13 to be exact. Nancy Krake, a local union official, stated in the article that this imbalance in the books has been identified by her at Scranton City Council meetings in the past which resulted in no action on the part of the City. Apparently, an audit has not been performed for a number of years.

Recently, Mayor Chris Doherty asked for and City Council granted a 25% tax increase in the City of Scranton.

Ken McDowell was elected in 2007 to serve a four year term as Controller of Lackawanna County.

No comments: