County hunts for new treasurer

Ann Metcalf will transition to airport as financial administrator.

Ann Metcalf in 2020 holding a sign in Tisbury in support of keeping the county treasurer’s position elected. — Rich Saltzberg

The Dukes County commissioners are on the hunt for a new treasurer after Ann Metcalf recently gave her two-week notice in order to leave for a job at Martha’s Vineyard Airport. Metcalf’s elected term runs until 2024, and the commissioners aim to appoint somebody to fulfill the term. Chair Christine Todd told her fellow commissioners Tuesday night at a specially scheduled meeting that some initial ideas about whom to install as interim treasurer aren’t doable. The county’s administrative code prohibits any commissioner from the job, including Todd, who said she was willing to step up until the position could be properly filled. The primary reason it’s prohibited is because the treasurer’s position offers compensation, she said, and that won’t legally mix with a commissioner’s role. 

Commissioner Leon Brathwaite said both Dukes County Register of Deeds Paulo DeOliveira and Dukes County Manager Martina Thornton, who were considered as interim treasurers, have conflicts, and cannot assume the role. Brathwaite also said Metcalf plans to assist with some mop-up of budgetary matters, including a warrant, but her time is not unlimited, as she is expected to train at the airport soon. He said she will work for the county until at least July 22.
Martha’s Vineyard Airport Director Geoff Freeman later told The Times Metcalf will replace comptroller Edward Christofono, who is moving on for a new job opportunity. With the onboarding of Metcalf, the title of the position will henceforth be known as financial administrator, Freeman said.
“We remain committed to a good relationship with the county, ” Freeman said, and added that includes a smooth transition and “helping each other any way possible.”

At the meeting, Todd said the county has advertised for the position, including through the Massachusetts Municipal Association. 

“The salary is fixed at 100k,” Brathwaite said. He added the candidate must live in Dukes County. 

Todd said the county is considering various options, including hiring a CPA firm to handle some of the treasurer’s position work. 

Commissioner Peter Wharton described using a CPA firm for most work while a person placeholds as a signatory as “plan B.” Plan A, he said, would be hiring a fully qualified person. He described plan C simply as former treasurer Noreen Flanders, though it wasn’t clear if he was seriously considering her as an alternative, or just segueing to ask her opinion on the situation. 

Flanders, who was on the Zoom, expressed skepticism at restructuring the position with a CPA. However, Todd said if done, it would only be temporary, and also that it has been recommended by a state official. 

Brathwaite said he thought the position would get filled “quickly.”

In a 2018 letter to the editor announcing her retirement, Flanders, who statewide was the longest serving county treasurer at the time, outlined what the duties of the position were:

“Please let me remind all that the county treasurer’s position is very different from a town treasurer, since the duties are that of both the treasurer and accountant for all county departments and programs,” she wrote. “The county treasurer is also the chairman of the retirement board, and has fiscal responsibilities to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank.”


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