To the editor:
The letter to the editor in the Leavenworth Times on Oct. 18 from Kelly Kultala’s Campaign Treasurer, Ms. Collins, unfortunately contains half-truths and pure fabrication. It is important that our citizens know the actual facts.
In October 2013, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a reorganization of the County Treasurer’s office because the state of Kansas mandated a new motor vehicle system (3M) which pushed state duties down to the county level. The additional compensation needed to implement 3M at the county level was paid for through state, not county, funds. The increase in personnel costs did not cost the Leavenworth County taxpayer a dime.
While I have great respect for my predecessor, prior to implementation of the 3M program, there was no transfer in 2011 or 2012, and a year-end balance of the motor vehicle fund has never been made. I too find it disheartening that I had to take legal action to prevent the BOCC’s money grab to keep the County Treasurer’s office open and to protect the county from a financial crisis. But the facts and law were on my side and the BOCC backed down. Ms. Collins has repeated the statements of a County Commissioner asserting that the BOCC has a duty to oversee the motor vehicle fund. When the Kansas Supreme Court addressed this very subject in Weber vs. Marshall, the court stated that it “absolutely rejects that the Commission has any oversight over the motor vehicle fund whatsoever.”
Ms. Collins was incorrect in stating there was a violation in the transfer of $38,000 back to the motor vehicle fund. The minutes of the Oct. 6, 2016, BOCC meeting show that our auditor advised the BOCC that the transfer was proper.
I have been accused of “overspending.” Evidently I have not spent enough because, according to the county human resources department, my employees are underpaid according to the recently board-approved County Pay Plan.
Regarding the 2017 budget, Ms. Collins is wrong again. The numbers she quotes are inaccurate and her source is a paid advertisement she wrote herself but on behalf of Ms. Kultala. These numbers are fabricated and inaccurate.
I must assume that Ms. Kultala approved the content of her advertisements and the letter of her campaign manager. This both scares and disheartens me because the Treasurer cannot fabricate numbers. And if nothing else, the Treasurer must be honest with the public.
I believe Ms. Collins should redirect her concerns of overspending to the County Commission which recently approved an unprecedented five-year contract, a non-independent pay plan costing the taxpayers approximately $700,000 and a half mill increase, and several lawsuits filed in the last year.
I have gone to great lengths to represent the taxpayers of Leavenworth County and I ask for your support in my re-election as County Treasurer.