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WARREN New tax administrator anticipates challenges



Published: Thu, November 29, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The administrator will work to increase collections in the city.

By AMANDA C. DAVIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Thomas Gaffney says he's OK with the high expectations surrounding his new job.

In fact, he says, working under fire will make it more challenging and exciting.

The city's new income tax administrator will be responsible for enforcing tax ordinances, making sure everyone who's supposed to be paying taxes has properly filed with the city.

Gaffney, 49, of Southington, says he wasn't familiar with Warren politics until he applied for the new position.

He says he's done some homework since, meeting with officials, doing online research and looking over state performance audits.

Though he won't officially start until Jan. 2, Gaffney is being hired on a contractual basis beginning Dec. 17 so he can better familiarize himself with the income tax office.

City council voted earlier this year to establish Gaffney's full-time position, with an annual salary of about $53,000 plus benefits.

State audit: Reorganizing the income tax department became a priority for the city when a state performance audit was critical of operations, saying the department was not maximizing collections.

Gaffney was introduced to council at its Wednesday meeting by John Taylor, who will replace Treasurer Patricia Leon-Games in January, working reduced hours to handle only city investments.

Gaffney will serve under Taylor, who said the city received 50 to 60 r & eacute;sum & eacute;s for the position, and chose Gaffney because of his financial background and employment history.

Fourteen candidates were interviewed by a committee of financial experts from the community and a few council members. Taylor said he made the final selection and had unanimous approval from the committee.

Gaffney is a certified public accountant, a certified internal auditor and is certified to be a school treasurer.

Credentials: He is director of internal audit for Portage County, responsible for implementing and coordinating independent reviews of financial operating procedures and the development, evaluation and compliance of internal controls for the county.

He also provides tax and accounting services for Gaffney & amp; Associates in Southington.

Past employment includes senior internal auditor for Kent State University, where he was responsible for developing and completing compliance, operational and financial audits at the main and regional campuses.

Gaffney plans to relocate to Warren.

Taylor, who works full time as president of Paige & amp; Byrnes Insurance, has said he's ready for the treasurer's job and thinks he and Gaffney will work well together.

Councilman Dan Polivka, D-at large, said before the meeting he supports Taylor's choice, calling Gaffney very bright.

davis@vindy.com




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