Friday, February 18, 2011

An Update From Josh Mandel

State Treasurer Josh Mandel
I thought you might enjoy a report on some of the many operations in my office.

I am focused on managing the Treasury and proud to report that our office is running smoothly.  We have assembled an outstanding team, ripe with experience, and quietly going about their business with a sharp sense of integrity, clarity and discipline.  Here’s a glimpse into some of our recent activity…

First Bond Issuance of 2011:  The Treasurer’s office is one of the main authorities in the state that issues Ohio municipal bonds.  Accordingly, the office is charged by the State Legislature to help fund various state projects that serve Ohioans.  Next week, our office will begin pricing its first bond issuance of 2011, entering the market with $58,000,000 of special obligation bonds.  These bonds will finance state parks and recreation facilities throughout Ohio.  In the coming months, our office will also be issuing bonds to support highway infrastructure projects and logistics and distribution programs.  Citizens, businesses and organizations that wish to invest in these and other Ohio bonds can log onto for more information.
Eliminating Ohio’s Estate Tax:  As promised, I am continuing my charge to eliminate Ohio’s Estate Tax.  The Estate Tax is a form of double-taxation that has perpetuated the unfortunate and predictable result of making Naples and Palm Beach second capitals of Ohio.  By forcing retired Ohioans to become citizens of other states, our state government has energized an exodus of financial and intellectual capital that should be invested in our communities.  Ohio’s Estate Tax hurts the middle class, homeowners and farmers while driving jobs, capital and families out of Ohio.  I am committed to fighting for the elimination of this economic burden on Ohio’s families.
Financial Planning and Supervision Commission:  As more local governments unfortunately trend towards classifications of “fiscal watch” and “fiscal emergency,” our office is working alongside the Auditor’s office to monitor these entities through our participation in the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission.  Recent Commission meetings included discussions regarding the Village of Bethel, Bloom Township, City of Campbell, City of Galion, Village of Leipsic, City of Mansfield, Scioto County, and City of Wellston.  As always, my perspective in monitoring these communities is one that embraces fiscal conservatism, merit-based management and application of private sector business principles.
State Board of Deposit:  As Treasurer, I chair the State Board of Deposit, which designates banks to serve as depositories of public dollars and approves state banking expenses.  Our office recently lead the first Board of Deposit meeting of 2011, where our financial team reported to the Board on Ohio’s economic condition and outlook.  The Board, also including the State Auditor and Attorney General, reviewed and approved the State’s banking expenses for the prior month.  Serving on the State Board of Deposit is an excellent forum and responsibility for the Treasurer’s office to advocate for the tightening of state spending and the need to act with the utmost integrity on fiscal matters.
Financial Literacy Training: In addition to collecting, protecting and investing the hard-earned dollars of Ohioans, one of my goals is to provide access to financial education for more citizens.  In partnership with the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, our office recently conducted financial literacy training for high school students at Thomas W. Harvey High School in the City of Painesville (Lake County).  Through this interactive spending and budget simulation training, our staff presented high school students with information on basic budgeting and money management.  I believe it is important that young Ohioans are equipped with adequate tools in order to make intelligent financial decisions throughout their lives.
Director of Revenue Management:  I am proud to announce that this week, Michael Fracassa began work as the Director of Revenue Management in the Treasurer’s office.  Michael is the former Assistant Vice President of Finance and Director of Financial Services at Ohio Christian University, where he managed the University budget.  He also previously served as the Assistant Director of Accounting at Indiana Wesleyan University.  As one of the core functions of the office, the Revenue Management Department is responsible for collecting, processing and depositing state revenue, and for providing cash management services to state and custodial agencies.
Top-Bottom Review of the Treasurer’s office:  Even before taking office on January 10th, our Transition Team was hard at work conducting a top-bottom review of the Treasurer’s office operations, staffing, personnel and contractual obligations, in order to increase efficiency and make the office leaner.  As I’ve mentioned on many occasions, families and small businesses throughout Ohio are tightening their belts and so should state government.  The Treasurer’s office is proud of the fact that we are working hard to cut the fat, increase efficiencies and reward integrity and results.