In an effort to consolidate some business services in government, a business manager has signed on for the county, in addition to her duties at the City of Fort Scott.
Susan Bancroft started January 19, 2021, as the part-time Bourbon County Business Manager.
She is currently the City of Fort Scott Finance Director.
“For many years, the city and county have had interlocal agreements in the area of public safety,” Bancroft said. “This has been a long positive relationship meeting the needs of both city and county residents.”
“A couple of years ago a task force was formed and has been researching ways to save taxpayer dollars through shared services between the city and county,” she said. “Recently, the county commission determined there was a need for a part-time business director and approached the city to see if this could be a shared service opportunity.”
To view a prior story on the movement to consolidate government services: http://fortscott.biz/news/bedco
In order for the relationship to work, Bancroft agreed to work her regular hours with the City of Fort Scott and an additional 20 hours for Bourbon County.
“My current position is based on a 40-hour workweek so this would be an additional 20 hours per week,” Bancroft said.
The Bourbon County Business Director will initially be responsible for assisting the commission in the development and analysis of budgets and reporting, human-resource-related issues and policy, and also accounts payable and receivable for public works, she said. Additionally, she will be the interdepartmental liaison to build relationships and oversight. Additional duties are expected to be added over time.
Bancroft will be paid $115,000 per year by the city. The county will pay $60,000 to the city for Bancroft’s services, according to the agreement between the two.
The memorandum of understanding between the city and county ends Dec. 31, 2021, with possible renewal.
To view the agreement between the city and county:
“Some may look at this as additional dollars being spent at the county level,” she said. “However, some of the assigned duties will replace expenses already being incurred by the county through contractual services.”
“In addition, the City of Fort Scott will realize approximately $34,000 in savings due to the partnership,” Bancroft said.
Bancroft worked for the City of Fort Scott from 2005-2012 as the finance director and spent two of those years as the assistant city manager/finance director.
From 2012-2015 she worked for USD 234 as the business manager/clerk. In 2015, she took a position with NPC International as their human capital management director until 2019 when she returned to the City of Fort Scott once again, as the finance director.
“The four years I was in the private sector I missed actively serving the community in which I lived,” she said. “I am excited to use the knowledge I have gained over the past 20 years to evaluate processes, budgets, improve transparency and build relationships between the City and County and its constituents.”
“I strive to see the glass half full rather than half empty, always looking for opportunities to improve,” she said. “One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford is ‘Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.’ I believe the city and county leaders are working towards this collaboration and look forward to many more opportunities to share services to reduce the burden on taxpayers.”
Bancroft will have offices at both entities.
“The (county) commission is currently working on finding a small space for me,” she said. “I am fortunate to also have the ability to work remotely.”