by Crestone Eagle
On August 15, the Board of County Commissioners accepted the resignation of the latest County Administrator, the second in less than a year. Glen Simpson submitted his resignation in writing: “I Glen W. Simpson respectfully submit my resignation as Saguache County Administrator, effective immediately. The long hours the County Administrator position requires is more than I can devote to it. Issues with county services and county personnel never get addressed, year after year.” His letter continues: “There are major problems at the landfill. You all have known the problems for years and are still not attempting to correct them. “The problem at Road & Bridge is much more than pay rates. Again, you’re aware of the problem, you know what needs to be done, but continue to ignore it. “From the courthouse to the landfill, employees and county departments do not work well together. You know this, but still you ignore it.” Simpson has a strong financial background—20 years in the army as a financial go-to person and another 20 years with an Austin, Texas firm as their chief financial officer. He is a certified public accountant with a degree from Boston University.
Coming into the position, he had some strong goals revolving around the County finances. A main personal goal was getting through the 2018 audit process and collecting all the necessary County records it will take to do that. Simpson included his struggle with accomplishing that goal in his letter: “Lastly, I can not do my job without the proper tools. The County financial accounting software is completely inadequate. It took me only a couple of weeks to identify vulnerabilities in both your accounting, timekeeping and payment procedures. Weaknesses in payroll, accounts payable and the general ledger are vulnerable to both fraud and embezzlement. Since you have chosen to deny me the tools I need to stop this from happening, the ethics required by my CPA license leave me no recourse but to resign my position and pray that the Board has the good sense to hire my replacement with a strong finance background.”
Simpson closes his letter with some observations about future implications for Saguache County employees and citizens. “I was not born here. I only became acquainted with Saguache
County six months ago, so my eyes have not been clouded. I have seen Saguache County from an unbiased outsider’s perspective. And I can only say this: the employees of Saguache County and the residents of Saguache County deserve more than you have provided them. County government should improve life for its employees and residents, not keep it at status quo.”
At the August 15 Special Meeting when the Commissioners formally accepted Simpson’s resignation, they appointed Wendi Maez as interim administrator with a salary of $63,000 retroactive to May 1, 2019. At that meeting Maez presented an option to hire Christine Stoddard for the role of financial coordinator with a salary not to exceed $20,000 and to be terminated at 2019 year-end. Maez also presented a three-page list of requirements dated July 31, 2019 from the auditors. Minutes from the August 15 meeting quote Commissioner Jason Anderson expressing his disappointment in the loss of Simpson, and that the Board of County Commissioners needs to look at doing a better job. Anderson continues, “ We can’t keep cycling through administrators; it is not good for the employees or the department heads.”