Let’s check in with what’s going on in Franklin County – starting with the Housing Authority 

December 12 – The Franklin County Housing Authority Board met yesterday and the search for an executive director has been narrowed down to three candidates. 

The board will interview those people this Friday. 

Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery said, “That’ll shift us into gear with the Housing Authority moving forward into the next year and the future.”

There were 10 candidates who initially applied for the job. 

Flannery said, “Our HR partner was the one who did the initial interviews. He worked with some of the current sitting management staff to narrow it down to the final three.”

The financial auditors reviewed the county’s financials for the year and last week, a meeting with the financial consultants discussed the county pension fund. 

Flannery said, “The auditors gave us a perfect score, and said that we have a top notch staff, fiscal staff here in Franklin County, perfect audit score. Our financial consultants work with 40 counties in Pennsylvania, and said we are the only county that has a fully funded pension. So that’s great news for the taxpayers. We manage it well. Our fiscal department manages that well, and that’s good news for the taxpayer.”

While an organization like PSERS (Public School Employees Retirement System) has to borrow money from overseas for their pension fund, the same cannot be said for Franklin County. 

Flannery explained, “We don’t have that issue. When we review our finances, we are very diversified. I can’t answer right off the top of my head, if we have any dollars invested in or near China. I know we are very diversified and a lot of our investments are here at home.”

In terms of the county’s pension, a lot of it is funded by the employees. 

Flannery said, “Through an analysis that we did with the auditors, I think people need to understand 66 or 67 percent of our pension is funded by the employees. So just keep in mind that the county is not throwing a bunch of money into this thing, or hasn’t.”

Key Concepts will meet this afternoon. 

Flannery said, “That was the idea of where our employees give us ideas to save money. We had a leadership group that took on some of these projects to move forward. We had a presentation two weeks ago, of our leadership groups. Four of those ideas moving forward were daycare, unifying our tax collection system here in the county. We have a different tax collector for each municipality. We’re trying to establish some software that makes it easier for them to work with the county. That’s been moving forward. Office space savings is another project to save us money on office space, to utilize different buildings around the county. That idea is moving forward. The cost reduction in using less paper and the savings we’re getting from that. We started the implementation of that last year. We have 700 employees and 52 departments and are trying to unify all the departments by using fewer printers contracted out through different vendors and ink and paper. We’ve made significant progress, but we’re now moving that forward. I think the courts are taking a bigger role in that. So that’s really exciting. We have a leadership group that is working on that project as well. I think it opens up that communication between the employees and the administration and the commissioners. It creates dialogue, which is a beautiful thing. And yes, you can submit questions anonymously, or you can put your name on it, either way. So it makes a big difference. It really does. And I think you have to have that open line of communication.”