ATLANTA - The carousel of public officials coming in and out of office in Montmorency County continues, as another local leader has decided to step down from her position.
Treasurer Wanda Teets will end her tenure as the county's chief financial advisor on June 30.
Teets has been Montmorency's treasurer for 15 years and worked in the office for 21. She said she learned something new every day on the job and did her best to keep the county fiscally responsible, but she warned there is still work left to do in order to keep it so.
"There have been challenges, but performing and overcoming those challenges has been good," Teets said. "I did have the county self-funded for a few years, of course we aren't now, but I still think the county is financially sound if they keep what they have now. If they start adding new employees, then they are going to have problems because it doesn't have any extra money."
Teets said she will miss her co-workers, her staff and thanks the voters for their support.
"I have enjoyed working for the citizens, and I hope that whoever takes over will do a good job," Teets said. "I appreciate working for the county for all of these years and my staff is excellent and very good at what they do. It has been a good experience."
Commissioner Bert LaFleche said if it wasn't for Teets being responsible with the county's money, and good advice to the commissioners, Montmorency would be in worse shape than it is now.
"She's done an excellent job," LaFleche said. "If it wasn't for her we wouldn't have any money. She is very close to the county's money and did a good job of advising the commissioners about what to spend and what not to spend. She kept the reigns on use so to speak. She will be missed."
The county has seen its share of change over the course of the last year and a half. After a 2009 election seated four new members on the five-seat board, former Commissioner Louis Hubert lost his seat in a successful recall early in 2010, and shortly thereafter Commissioner Garry Ferguson resigned.
Tom Young finished his term but decided against a re-election bid because of health concerns.
Commissioner Barry Danks, who submitted his letter of resignation Wednesday, though it wasn't accepted by the board, said when he was new to the commissioner's role, he disagreed with Teets on several key financial issues. After sitting down with her and having her explain the legality of her decisions, he earned a lot of respect for her.
"I really don't think she should go," Danks said. "At first I thought she was wrong in a lot of areas, but she has changed my mind and persuaded me with facts. I have nothing but great respect for the job she has done for the county and for the board."
Danks said losing someone with the experience and knowledge of the county's finances is unnerving. He said the person selected to fill Teet's position will need to get acclimated quickly and rely a great deal on the current staff.
"What I'm concerned about is if they bring in someone who is not government informed," Danks said. "They need to know the laws and statutes. If they don't it could really hurt us."
A new treasurer will be determined by Probate Judge John Fitzgerald, County Clerk Cheryl Neilsen and Prosecutor Terrie Case. That person will hold the position until the 2012 election.
According to Teets, two people have expressed an interest for the job thus far - Loud Township Clerk Larry Pascadore and former Commissioner Gene Thorton.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.