Newly elected King William treasurer, commissioner of the revenue request higher salaries, give updates on offices

Em Holter, The Daily Press
·3 min read

After taking office mid-February, King William Treasurer Mary Sue Bancroft and Commissioner of the Revenue Karena Funkhouser offered updates on the state of their respective offices and requested salary increases at the county’s February Board of Supervisors meeting.

The pair took office following a February special election after their predecessors resigned mid-term when a county-led probe into their offices’ revealed poor bookkeeping and mismanagement.

For Bancroft, she said the need for higher compensation is apparent after witnessing the current state of the office, the amount of work needed to be completed and the lack of attention taken in the months prior to her taking office.

According to Bancroft, while former Treasurer Harry Whitt and interim Treasurer Marie Wilson had state certifications to complete certain tasks, they were not implemented in the office.

While the county had scheduled a turnover audit for the office, which is common when a treasurer leaves office, it is currently on hold as Bancroft discovered Wilson had not reconciled any of the bank accounts dating back to September. As a result, Bancroft will have to complete work assigned to the former interim treasurer.

“I’m having a very hard time making sense of what has taken place or not taken place,” Bancroft said. “I don’t know what to say. It’s very disheartening to see what had not been done in that office.”

While the county and the state both fund the treasurer and her staff’s salaries, Bancroft said the county’s compensation has not been adjusted for several years and is lower than most localities offer.

The salaries for the former treasurer and former commissioner of the revenue was nearly $76,000 a year each.

While it is unclear at this time what Bancroft and Funkhouser’s salaries are, Bancroft said she took a pay cut to fill the position — a feat most with the experience needed for the job will not do in the future.

“I already was coming on board knowing that I was going to be going backwards a little bit in salary, but it was worth it to me to get our county to where we needed to be,” Bancroft said. “So, I would really like to think that you all would give great consideration to our compensation.”

Supervisor Stephen Greenwood said he understands Bancroft’s concerns and will take her requests into consideration after he himself considered running for the position but ultimately decided not to because of the salary.

Funkhouser echoed similar requests to the board saying her office is working to adapt to the new software, complete tax deadlines and help the county correct its property reassessment. However, the current salary does not match her qualifications.

“There seems to be some confusion as to how the salaries for the newly elected officers were determined,” Funkhouser said. “We’re not just asking for ourselves, but also for future hires.”

While many of the board said they will consider their requests, fourth district Supervisor Stewart Garber argued that the former officer’s salaries were compensated based on the certifications they received from the state.

“The increase in salary was because of the certifications,” Garber said. “I would have liked to have thought that both of y’all would have done a little bit of homework before running for office.”

Bancroft argued that while her predecessors received certain certifications, they were not implemented in the offices.

“I’m just going to be very honest with you, it doesn’t seem that those certifications benefited my predecessor’s abilities in the treasurer’s office, as witnessed by the inadequacies found in the office,” Bancroft said.

Chairman Travis Moskalski said the board will consider Bancroft and Funkhouser’s requests and see if salaries need to be adjusted.

The Board of Supervisors will host its next meeting 7 p.m. March 22 online via Zoom. For more information, visit kingwilliamcounty.us.

Em Holter, emily.holter@virginiamedia.com, 757-256-6657, @EmHolterNews.