It takes a village … to run a village
I am sure everyone can guess it takes a lot of work to run the village. We have many amazing employees in our departments. Some of those people are in our finance department. We are so lucky to have a resolute team working on our daily finances.
Taking on the challenge of balancing the books is Mindy Goddeau. Mindy is our village treasurer, otherwise known as the chief financial officer. Starting out as deputy treasurer, she has been a valuable member of the staff since October of 2016. Her love of working with numbers, managing multi-million-dollar budgets and her practical experience as a past licensed financial advisor made her an ideal candidate for this position. As a board member of the Government Finance Officers Association, she networks with peers to educate herself about best practices in municipal finance. One of the most critical parts of the treasurer’s job is to create an annual budget that provides the financial resources for our departments to maintain services, attract and retain employees and plan for future improvements, all within the tax cap that is mandated by the state of New York. It is an ongoing process that takes communication and creative thinking when we need to produce contingency plans for unexpected expenses. Not only is it important to know how and where to spend our money, it is also vital to know how we can lessen the burden of the taxpayer when it comes to capital improvements. I have witnessed first-hand that Mindy often goes beyond her normal work schedule to finalize grant applications and submit for reimbursements along with her other responsibilities.
Not only does Mindy work with department heads, but she also relies on the work done by the front facing staff that oversee the day-to-day responsibilities. Building on the foundation that was established by long-serving employees — Kathy Lewis, Sharon Nugent and Ginny Gilmore — the next generation of village employees have incorporated the advances in technology that will make the village more efficient and increase productivity. Meghan LaHart, Heather Hayhurst and Kate Darwin are engaging in innovative technology to make transactions for village residents seamless. All have been cross trained on the village’s accounting programs as well as the county’s tax program to ensure that any one of them can help our customers. Without their billing and receiving knowledge, the rest of the team would not be able to do their work. They are the first line of communication.
In the bullpen is Tracy Hathaway, the deputy treasurer/clerk. This position is responsible for managing accounts payable/receivables/payroll and acts as the human resource coordinator. Our employees rely on Tracy every day for everything from retirement to insurance and to their pay checks being correct. As deputy, Tracy is called upon to fill in for the treasurer or clerk in case of scheduled leave time, illness or other situations. Tracy has been an employee of the village since 2012. So, as you can imagine, Tracy has a substantial amount of institutional knowledge regarding village operations. I believe she can manage anything you throw her way.
As I have said before, and I continue to believe, that all the work that has been done and what is planned would be impossible if it were not for the wealth of knowledge and dedication of our department heads and their staff.
(Art Devlin is mayor of the village of Lake Placid.)