Money handling a concern in treasurer's race

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Kayla Bunge
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
— Former Alderman Tom Spellman wants the city to care about the money it handles and implement basic money handling procedures.

Teresa Klein says the city already has started changing its procedures to ensure accountability and accuracy.

Spellman, who served on the city council from 2006 until he was recalled in December, and Klein, who is the city parking enforcement clerk, are vying for the treasurer position.

Incumbent Treasurer Germaine Clifford is not seeking re-election.

Spellman believes the city should heed the advice of an accounting firm that recently developed a list of internal controls the city could implement to better ensure it is properly handling money.

"It's so basic," he said. "Three-quarters of a million (dollars) blows through this city with no internal controls. That's what I realized my first year on the council."

Spellman said he tried several times while he was on the council to have a list of best practices drawn up, but he regularly ran into resistance.

"I didn't think anybody would be opposed to getting cash handling practices in place."

Spellman thinks the city owes it to residents to handle their tax dollars with care.

"(Internal controls) provide at a minimum a reassurance to taxpayers that their money is being accounted for properly," he said. "It's basic in all businesses and basic in all governments."

Klein thinks the city has started to implement new procedures that are making a difference.

"There have been great strides and steps taken as far as internal controls go," she said. "They're putting things in place."

Klein said city staff have separated duties such as opening bills, signing checks and balancing the checkbook.

"I think they're moving in the right direction," she said. "I don't see gross negligence at City Hall. They're implementing as many (internal controls) as they can."


Teresa M. Klein

Age: 47

Job: Parking enforcement clerk, city of Lake Geneva.

Education: Bachelor degree in agribusiness, UW-Platteville, 1985.

Community service: Member of the Friends of the Lake Geneva Public Library

Elected posts: None


Tom Spellman

Age: 65

Address: 270 Country Club Drive, No. 22, Lake Geneva.

Job: Retired housing manager

Education: Bachelor degree in architecture, UW-Milwaukee, 1973.

Community service: None

Elected posts: Alderman, 2006-2009.

Last updated: 1:07 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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