Syracuse Clerk-Treasurer’s Spouse Weighs In On Race
My name is Joe Cazier. I am the current Syracuse clerk-treasurer’s husband. I am biased of course, but felt compelled to write this letter. I’ve been listening and reading about not only the clerk-treasurer race, but also the issue over Mr. Siegel’s insurance.
He speaks about compliance and rule of law, yet when Virginia asks for a summary of his insurance he takes offense and is unprofessional. He speaks about code and federal law yet will leave out details that do not match his narrative. For example, when referring to the “IRS HSA Comparability Rules,” he mentions that it deals with all HSA contributions being the same and possible fines if not followed, but leaves out the part about employee categories.
Mr. Siegel is a part-time elected official. All full-time employees and elected officials have always received the same HSA contributions. The clerk-treasurer’s office needs to follow city, state and federal laws. It must make things line up. One council member going to Virginia and saying do what I say or you are not in compliance is ridiculous. When Virginia asks for clarification per State Board of Accounts recommendation and then gets pressure to just do it the way it’s always been done, that is wrong.
You then become an obstacle to compliance instead of a vehicle for it. I do understand thinking of every scenario when making a motion or ordinance can be difficult and impossible at times. In times like that you go back and reinforce good ideas and throw out things that do not work.
Either way tax payers have a right to be involved. Clarification needs to take place in an “open door” meeting so there is a public record. The recent narrow vote to guarantee $3,000 is put into Mr. Siegel’s HSA does not make a compliant policy for his insurance. When Virginia emailed the State Board of Accounts, their words were “The first thing you need to have is a written policy laying out how the process works, controls, and how the invoice is to be paid, if there is a capped amount, the town has the ability to require competitive quotes.”
Making policy that is unclear is understandable, but refusing to clarify it so the clerk can show compliance with regulating agencies is a dereliction of duty.