Legislative changes to treasurer position a long way away

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Martina Thornton, shown here at a 2019 meeting, updated the county commissioners about the process of having the treasurer become an appointed position. -Rich Saltzberg

After voting in favor of putting forth potential legislative changes to the county’s treasurer position, the Dukes County Commission discussed next steps at its Wednesday afternoon meeting. 

Due to the inability to find an adequate replacement for former treasurer Ann Metcalf, who left her county role in July after being offered a job as financial administrator for the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, the commission recently expressed interest in moving toward allowing the treasurer position to go from being an elected role to an appointed one. 

At their Oct. 19 meeting, commissioners also agreed in favor of a legislation change that would allow the county to broaden the search for candidates outside the jurisdiction of Dukes County. 

After months of a lack of candidates, it was decided, due to the specificity of the role, which requires a vast amount of knowledge and experience, that the county recommend the legislative changes, which will ultimately go before voters.

In an update on the process of searching outside Dukes County for a treasurer, county manager Martina Thornton said that the governor’s office informed her that the changes would require special legislation that would need to be filed by government representatives. Thornton said she’s reached out to counsel for them to come up with the language for the filings. 

Regarding the change from an elected to appointed position, Thornton said that it’s been relayed to her that state representatives have chosen to wait until the next legislative session to file the changes. This too would need to go to county counsel, and then in front of voters in the 2024 election, before making its way to the state.