By Scott A. Adkins
My letter is in response to the editorial “Who’s in charge here?” printed in the Aug. 23 edition of The Ellsworth American.
While I completely agree with the premise of the article, I wish to update the writer, along with the citizens of Hancock County, as to the progress and attention placed upon the county finances by the Hancock County Commissioners. Anyone familiar with this issue knows that there is plenty of history, but I would rather concentrate on the now and future.
In May of 2016, Hancock County government was faced with a couple of serious deficiencies. As the article indicates, there was a significant issue with bringing county finances into order as well as the need for day-to-day leadership and management. The cure was simply to hire someone who was qualified in both areas and make the proper investment for the citizens of Hancock County.
Now, I could be accused of “tooting my own horn” here, but I’ll take the risk in the effort to assure your readers that things are in order and the future in great hands. With much anticipation, I answered the advertisement and interviewed with the commissioners on, of all dates, April 1, 2016. After a lengthy interview, the job was offered to me by unanimous decision and I graciously accepted.
For a refresher, this individual had over eight years as the finance director in Penobscot County and was highly respected by his fellow financiers and elected treasurers. In addition, with the county using the TRIO accounting software, my career in Penobscot also included TRIO and I have developed into a valuable resource not just for other TRIO users, but TRIO themselves. The administrator portion was certainly covered with the work history of my resume. It was a perfect fit and I believe that all parties are happy with the decision today.
After many extra hours of hard work, the accounts are reconciled; defined as to the use and game plans developed for the future. With proper planning and cooperation from the great crew of elected and appointed officials here in the county, things are in proper order for now and years to come. I’m proud of the work accomplished here by all. The confidence of the commissioners, both present and past, is greatly appreciated and makes for progress most days.
So, while the system may seem antiquated, county government is flexible and finds ways to adapt. The key is to hire the right people, allow them to do the job and retain them as best you can. Hence, the reason that I highly recommended, might even be accused of coercing her, that Pamela J Linscott run for county treasurer. There were a few interested parties, and in enjoyable conversation they all stated they would like to run if needed. This alone shows the commitment of the citizens of Hancock County. Fortunately, Pam has grown not just in responsibility, but definitely skill-wise during my short tenure here. Both she and Janice Eldridge, current outgoing treasurer, have been great to work with and the job done would not have been possible without their cooperation and efforts. I sincerely thank them both!
In closing, I appreciate not just the attention, but the detailed research of the article. The only way to improve things is to communicate the problem and develop solutions. Again, Hancock County is in good hands and I will pledge to continue the effort! Thank you for letting me be of service.
Scott A. Adkins is the Hancock County Administrator.