Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, October 09, 2009

Candidate blog series: Treasurer candidate Tom Brown (R)

My name is Thomas Brown and I am the Republican candidate for Norwood City Treasurer. I have always been concerned about the City of Norwood’s financial stability and business growth, but none more than now. The City Treasurer’s office needs leadership, organization, and efficiency so that your tax dollars are used wisely. I am apprehensive that the current treasurer does not have these ideals as his main interest. It is for this reason I have decided to offer the voters of Norwood a real choice in this November’s election.

My dealings with the Norwood Treasurer’s Office started when I worked for the City of Norwood. In 2000, I raised concerns to City Council about the inefficiencies, disorganization and overall poor performance of the Treasurer’s Office with other City Departments and the public.

Nearly ten years later, nothing has changed.

There are many problems in the Treasurer’s office that impact taxpayers:

  1. The closing of the office every day in the mid-afternoon, thus making it impossible for the public to pay their bills owed to the City.
  2. The current City Treasurer does not keep regular office hours, attend City Council meetings or attend Finance meetings.
  3. The current City Treasurer does not employ a full time Tax Commissioner to run the Tax Office.
  4. The Treasurer’s poor communication with other City Departments and City Council.
  5. The mailing of tax evasion letters to Norwood citizens whom in fact have paid their taxes properly.

The most recent State Auditor’s Review of the City Treasurer highlights many noncompliance citations and material weaknesses relating to the poor management of the accounts by the current City Treasurer.

In the State Auditor’s Review, they stated, "The City Treasurer did not prepare accurate cash reconciliation of the general account during 2004 and 2005."

The State Auditor commented the following while discussing the lack of balancing of the City Treasurer’s checkbook bank accounts by stating, “There is no evidence that the monthly reconciliations are reviewed upon completion.”, “The Auditor of State does not “approve” methods and components used in completing reconciliations.” and “the City could not account for differences between their book and bank balances in the amounts of $21,455 and $17,142 at December 31, 2004 and December 31, 2005 respectively.”

Even more shocking, the State Auditor was so critical of the way the Treasurer’s Office is run, they “recommend that Council or an appointee of Council, review and sign off on the reconciliations thereby indicating approval and promoting timeliness of reconciliations.”

While council has no statutory authority over other elected officials, the State Auditor is so concerned they are recommending oversight nonetheless. Norwood’s citizens should be concerned about the lack of accountability in the Treasurer’s office.

I stand ready to offer the voters of Norwood the leadership experience and commitment to excellence needed in the Treasurer’s office. My experience with staff supervision and meeting goals in the private and government sector will serve me well. My previous jobs have required me to streamline processes and initiate new procedures to save my employer money. My engineering degree provides me with the analytical skills needed to get the Treasurer’s Office running properly.

My wife and I are very involved in community events. From the Norwood 4th of July Fireworks Committee, Norwood Moose Lodge, and Relay for Life to WCET’s Action Auction, we are always looking for fulfilling volunteer opportunities. We have lived here for 12 ½ years and are proud to call Norwood home.

I understand that too much government, as well as too little, is a waste of taxpayer’s money. The basic and efficient operation of our government offices is critical, so our tax dollars are spent wisely. So I pledge to have the office maintain regular business hours, hire a full time qualified staff to work to restructure and modernize the office, as well as work with both the City Auditor and City Council to balance the city’s budget.

I will be accessible to the Administration, City Council and Department Heads to assist in any financial issues. Additionally, I personally pledge to keep regular office hours and to attend City Council meetings.

Finally, I will bring accountability, efficiency and real change to Norwood’s Treasurer’s Office.

You can contact me via the web at, via email at, my website at or by phone at 396-6683.

I am running for City Treasurer because…it’s Your Money, My Money, Our Money.

Tom Brown