Unopposed O’Neal Wants to Improve State-Funded Staffing in Office as Treasurer for Manassas Park
– October 24, 2013 9:11 am
Winifred "Winnie" O'Neal
- Age: 43
- Political Party: Independent
- Running for: Treasurer (Incumbent)
- District: Manassas Park City
- Opponent: Unopposed
- Profession: Current treasurer; Appointed by Manassas Park City Council in 2008 and reelected in 2009-present
- Manassas Park Recreation Aide (2005-2008)
- Banker, Commerce Bank, BB&T, TowneBank, Tidewater, Va. (over 12 years)
- Education: Coastal Carolina Community College
- Cosmetology license (2004)
- Family: Daughter: Kate, 15.
Winifred “Winnie” O’Neal is the current treasurer of Manassas Park City. She first worked as a banker in Tidewater, Va. for over 12 years and after relocating to Manassas Park City she worked for the parks and recreation department as an aide. In 2008, she was appointed by City Council to serve as treasurer and then elected to serve her first official term in 2009. Her experience as the City’s Treasurer motivates her to want to continue serving Manassas Park.
“Now that I have some experience under my belt and I’ve taken some classes, I’ve gotten the office to a good position with our collection rates and customer service and I want to keep that going,” she says. In short, the City Treasurer works with the commissioner of revenue and is responsible for handling the tax collections and funds coming into the area.
“The commissioner of revenue basically assesses the taxes, hands the book over to us and we bill and collect the taxes,” says O’Neal. She says that many people don’t realize that a large part of the responsibilities of the treasurer’s office is tax collections.
“This includes personal property taxes, real estate taxes, decals and state funding for the schools and city.”
The city treasurer plays a major role in making decisions on where to best invest the city’s funding. O’Neal says these decisions have a lot to do with relationships.
“The treasurer gets to pick our everyday banking relationships and there are a lot of great state-sponsored programs for deposits. We take all of that into account,” she says.
The treasurer’s office in Manassas Park is currently operated by a staff of four employees. The office is partially state funded and because the city had furloughs, O’Neal says that the employees that were not state-funded were laid off. She says these staff cuts over the past three years have created a challenge to providing adequate customer service.
“Right now the biggest challenge is staffing. We have portions of the day from 1:30 to 3 p.m. that we are closed and we used to be able to stagger the hours but because we’ve lost staff, we can’t provide the quality customer service that we want to provide,” she says. “We have some state mandated functions that are required, such as making our deposits daily and that’s definitely affected our customer service.”
One “hot topic” issue on the minds of many citizens in light of recent complications within federal government services is public disclosure of funds raised and spent by local, state and federal government. O’Neal says that the treasurer’s office maintains a fair level of disclosure for its citizens.
“How the money is handled in the treasures office is completely open for public inspection,” she says. “We have books with past records that the public can come in and view and we also have online systems where public knowledge is accessible.”
O’Neal says she is pleased to be able to continue to serve the citizens of Manassas Park City. She says that her five years of experience in the office, banking background and past success in handling various duties required by her role as treasurer make her a dependable candidate for treasurer.