Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Sauter’s needs were ignored

It was good news that in only a few months recently elected Island County Treasurer Linda Riffe sorted through the accounting morass in the treasurer’s office and found a $1.2 million bonanza for country taxing districts (News-Times, March 15), thus rectifying several years of oversight under the former treasurer. Thank you Treasurer Riffe and team!

I don’t feel, however, that fault for the mess the new treasurer inherited should be assigned entirely to the former treasurer. Had the warning signs regarding poor accounting practices, lack of controls, personnel problems, etc., as often presented by state auditors, former employees, customers of the treasurer’s services, and other associates not been ignored this situation would not have occurred.

In my opinion all of these signs clearly indicate former treasurer Sauter had serious accounting and computer systems problems and personal health problems all needing professional help. Instead, the only help she received was the product of corrupted political decisions, i.e., superficial endorsements, intended to keep her in office at any cost as a reward for her years of party dedication.

In her case, only the easy decisions were made. Heads were buried in the sand with the hope the whole mess would disappear! It didn’t. Those who let treasurer Sauter down should re-examine their motives and the product of their flawed decision-making processes. Her real problems were ignored. She never received the professional help she desperately needed and the citizens of Island County were all losers.

True friends and prudent thinking politicians should not have supported her continued tenure of office as Island County Treasurer.

Wouldn’t it be great if politicians made business-like decisions based on sound facts instead of politics to retain their elected positions of control?

Bill Strowbridge

Oak Harbor

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