Miller selected for treasurer post


WESTFIELD – The City Council voted 10-2 last night to appoint Meghan Miller to serve as the next City Treasurer after receiving a 3-0 recommendation from the Personnel Action Committee.
The vote gave Miller her first three-year term in that post, being vacated by Greg I. Kallfa after nearly 28 years of municipal service.
At-large Councilor Brent B. Bean II, the PAC Chairman, commented that Miller’s municipal career could least as long as Kallfa’s tenure in office.
“Greg served 28 years and that could happen again, so we wanted to make sure we make the right decision,” Bean said.
Miller is a 2006 graduate of St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. where she majored in accounting (4.0 GPA) and a minor in Spanish (3.7 GPA). Miller graduated Summa Cum Laude, was on the Dean’s list all eight semesters and was named a Presidential Scholar.
Miller served as a senior auditor at Wolf & Company, P.C. for six years and joined the Appleton Corporation as assistant comptroller in June.
However, several council members argued that Miller lacks municipal experience, a concern for those councilors because municipal finance falls under unique state law as opposed to laws regulating private financial institutions.
“Some of the other candidates have that (municipal) experience and have been doing the job longer than Meghan has been in school,” At-large Councilor David A. Flaherty said. “She has the talent to get there in the future, but others could do it walking through the door. There are a lot of crazy (state) laws between what municipalities can do and what is done in the private sector.”
Flaherty also noted that Miller does not have the required state certifications for municipal finances, while several of the other final candidates are fully certified, although he added that Miller “is smart enough to get there quickly.”
Bean said that the process began nearly a year ago when the PAC began to revise the job description for the City Treasurer post. When Kallfa, a city resident who also did not have municipal experience, assumed that post it was as City Treasurer/Collector. Those two positions were separated into independent departments in 1999 when Michael McMahon was hired to serve as the City Collector.
Bean said that 18 applicants responded to the city’s posting for the position and that an internal screening committee reviewed the candidate field and selected eight for interviews.
That committee, composed of Kallfa, Assistant Personnel Director Jeff Krok, City Auditor Deborah Strycharz, Susan Phillips of the Law Department, and Paul Pasterczyk, the Longmeadow Finance Director interviewed presented a short list of four finalists to the PAC in October.
The PAC, which is comprised of Bean, At-large Councilor Brian Sullivan and Ward 3 Councilor Ann Callahan, conducted its own interviews of the finalists on Oct 18, 2012 and voted unanimously to nominate Miller at a PAC session on Oct. 25.
Flaherty, Ward 1 Councilor Christopher Keefe, who both voted against Miller’s appointment yesterday, and Ward 4 Councilor Mary O’Connell, attended the interview and nomination session, arguing that the PAC should present several of the final candidates to the City Council for consideration, especially those with extensive municipal experience and state certification.
Bean said yesterday that the PAC was impressed with the quality of the candidates, but that Miller brings qualities to the post others did not.
“The PAC felt that all four candidates are highly qualified and interviewed well,” Bean said. “Meghan is clearly a person with the ability to do this job.”
Sullivan said that “Meghan brings something more” to the post.
“This has not been an easy decision, but Meghan brings so many intangibles,” Sullivan said.
Callahan said Miller “is not only capable of doing this job, she will flourish and bring new ideas to the position.”
Miller is the daughter of retired Police Lieutenant Paul and Cindy Miller who attended the council session with retired Police Lt. Paul and Ann Kousch, as well as a number of friends and relatives.

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