by Mary Grow
Jean Poulin estimates that more than $ 94,000,000 has passed through her books since she became the accountant of the Town of Vassalboro on September 11, 2006, a position from which she is about to retire.
Money came to the city from local tax payments, excise taxes, state revenue sharing, investment income, occasional state or federal grants, and various other sources.
He went out, every two weeks (plus a state payment in the odd-numbered week), to pay the wages of city employees and to cover other city expenses, thousands of dollars to support the school department. to a few dollars for an essential item for the city office, the public works department or the transfer station.
Vassalboro’s elected officials meet every two weeks, and each meeting includes the approval of two mandates, the payroll mandate and the accounts payable mandate. (The mandate, in this context, is the list of checks; it is not the same as a municipal assembly mandate, which is the list of items to be voted on.)
Poulin explained that for payroll, employees hand in timesheets; City Manager Mary Sabins checks them; Poulin prints checks or makes a direct deposit, as the case may be. Payroll amounts are fairly constant from week to week, she said, except when public works drivers work overtime for snow removal and at the end of the fiscal year, when longevity bonuses are added for qualified employees.
For the accounts payable mandate, Poulin receives invoices by mail, by e-mail and in person, from city department heads and vendors. The heads of departments include an explanation of the expenses and information on the budget line on which they should be drawn.
Once again, Sabins goes through the list that will go to the selection committee; Poulin prepares the checks; and the selectors review and approve the two terms of reference.
The Maine Motor Vehicle Department wants its share of the registration fee each week, Poulin said. She prepares a separate mandate for the department and notifies the selection men when it is ready for the required unique signature. Usually, she said, a jury member quickly stops by the town office.
Poulin’s daily duties include sweeping and deposits. Sweeping involves transferring newly received money, over the counter or online (paying taxes or vehicle registrations, for example), from Vassalboro’s checking account, which earns no interest. It then deposits it into the remunerated money market account.
Sweeps work both ways, Poulin said: When it’s time to pay her bills, she transfers enough money market to cover the checks she has to write.
There is more paperwork – daily reports on tax collections, vehicle registrations and other matters, quarterly reports to the federal and state governments, reviews with the company the city invests through, reviews with the ‘auditor.
Another part of his job is helping customers at the counter in the municipal office while another employee is sick or on lunch break.
Poulin is from Vassalboro and Cony High School in Augusta graduated. After earning an associate’s degree in commerce and accounting from the former Kennebec Valley Technical College, in Fairfield, Poulin worked at Sebasticook Valley Hospital, in Pittsfield, before getting married, moving to Florida for a time, then to return to central Maine.
Poulin jokes that she got her job in Vassalboro through a fair – but not a job fair. At the Windsor Fair in 2006, she met a longtime friend from Vassalboro, Michael Vashon, who was then managing director.
Vashon was looking for an accountant and invited Poulin to submit a resume. In a few days, he hires her.
She enjoyed her job, she said, both the job and especially her colleagues over the years. She likes numbers for their sharpness. “If it’s not right, you’ll find it,” she said.
However, she has a big plan for retirement: “Don’t get up every morning and drive to Vassalboro. Instead, she plans to use unforeseen weather to enjoy her grandchildren and flower garden, and she and her husband are planning a few relaxing days on the coast.
Poulin’s last day at the Vassalboro municipal office will be July 2. Her successor will be Melanie Anderson, most recently Benton City Clerk. Poulin said she and Anderson plan to work together for a few days at the end of June.
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