Chambersburg is unique among Pennsylvania municipalities in that we utilize internal service funds to manage the administrative operations of the Borough much more so than other municipalities. This is because the largest departments of the Borough organization are the utilities and their finances are kept segregated.
- An Internal Service Fund (ISF) is a business like operation that provides services to other departments of the Borough
- A separate fund with its own revenues and expenses; generally in balance
- A fund that collects its costs either by invoicing for services or by standardized transfers of funds from other departments
- In Chambersburg, we have the following:
- Engineering Fund: Utility location, GIS Mapping, civil design and inspection (supervised by Phil Wolgemuth, Deputy Borough Manager)
- Motor Equipment Fund: Central garage, vehicle purchasing and financing (supervised by Director of Public Works)
- Stores/Warehouse Fund: Centralized purchasing and customer service center (supervised by John Leary, Gas Department Supervisor)
- Administrative Services Fund
The Administrative Services Fund is the home of:
- Clerical Pool Office: The shared secretaries leased to each department
- The Personnel & Payroll Office: The human resources office
- Information Technology: Computers, software, and utility invoicing
- City Hall & Customer Service: The custodians, meter readers, and front counter
- Finance & Accounting: Accounting and financial management for all departments
Most municipalities do not own and operate large scale utility operations so whatever back office operations they manage, they are often in their General Fund. In Chambersburg, most of employees, equipment, personnel, and financial work involve our utilities and therefore putting all the back office operations in a fund that bills back its costs to other departments makes much more sense. In doing so, the utilities, the largest users of these services, also pay the largest share of these back office operations.
However, not every function can be invoiced to the utilities:
- Certain functions, such as police, fire, land use, zoning, codes, and recreation must remain in the Borough’s General Fund and cannot invoice the utilities for operational expenses
- However, the Electric Dept and the Gas Dept do also pay their fair share of taxes to the General Fund (payments in lieu of gross receipts tax)
- By doing actual “cost based accounting” the Borough’s back office operations are fairly paid for in proportion to the size of each department (i.e. Electric pays the largest share because Electric is the largest operation as measured by revenues)
Who supervises the employees of the Administrative Services Department?
- Clerical Pool Office: Administrative Services Director
- The Personnel & Payroll Office: Administrative Services Director
- Information Technology: Administrative Services Director
- City Hall & Customer Service: Finance Director
- Finance & Accounting: Finance Director
The position of Finance Director is established by Local Law. However, the position of Treasurer is established by State Law. In Chambersburg, the Finance Director is also the Borough Treasurer. That person is responsible for the fiscal and fiduciary management of the Borough operations. In addition, he is the fiduciary in charge of the Borough’s independent pension plans.
The current Finance Director is Jason H. Cohen, MPA. Jason serves at the pleasure of the Borough Manager but was appointed as Treasurer by Town Council in 2013. Jason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The position of Administrative Services Director was created by the Borough Manager and ratified by Town Council in June 2022. The current Administrative Services Director is Melinda R. Thompson, SHRM-CP. This position is the supervisor of the Information Technology, Personnel, and Clerical Pool offices. Melinda can be reached at email@example.com.
Finally, Town Council appoints an independent auditor to confirm that the fiscal operations are being handled in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles for local government and State Law. The current independent auditor is Smith Elliott and Kearns & Company of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.