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‘In my brief time in office, I have earned the support and respect of my fellow Treasurers’

Patricia Richie-Folks is looking to keep her seat as the Manassas City Treasurer. 

She’s been there less than a year, after winning the seat in a special election last November following the requirement of longtime city treasurer Robin Perkins. 

Richie-Folks won by three points last year. And this year, she faces the same opponent — Republican Rusell Harrison. 

This election season, we’re asked candidates who wish to reach our readers a “why you should vote for me” email by Oct. 27, 2017. 

From Patricia Richie-Folks 

I was truly honored when the citizens of the great City of Manassas elected me to the Office of Treasurer in 2016. In running my campaign, I pledged to serve with honesty and integrity. My established goals were to provide outstanding customer service and to execute all aspects of management and operations with efficiency and transparency. I can state with complete confidence that I have fulfilled these commitments.

As Treasurer for the City of Manassas, an elected Constitutional Officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is my charge to operate my office in accordance with Commonwealth statutes and codes and City of Manassas ordinances.

When I assumed office, I brought with me a wealth of diverse skills and knowledge – including leadership, managerial, accounting, budgeting, and finance. For example, ownership of a small construction company provided me with intimate experience in the management of workers, finances – including projections for short- and long-term operating costs and profits – and clients. In my position as General Manager of the Laundry Division of the Sodexo Corporation, I managed a multi-million dollar budget and a staff of 30 people. As a legislative assistant with the Florida State Legislature, I have a strong grasp interpreting legislation, statutes, and codes. Although these positions do not reflect my career in its entirety, they do reflect an array of experience, coupled with my A.A. in Business Administration, clearly equipped me to successfully meet the professional challenges inherent in the job of Treasurer. Evidently, a majority of the voters were confident enough in my experience and the goals set forth in my campaign to elect me.

While these credentials have served me well in establishing myself in the position. There are many facets of the job, however, that require a unique, discrete skillset to perform at optimum capacity. The University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Services offers training that is designed to advance the specific management and leadership skills required for local treasurers throughout the Commonwealth. To fortify my ability to supervise the operations of my office, I have completed several of the required courses and am vigorously pursuing my Master Governmental Treasurer certification. This certification is the highest level of achievement recognized by the Treasurers’ Association of Virginia (TAV).

I am an active TAV member and was recently appointed by the organization’s president to a very coveted position on the Legislative Committee – one of the seven major committees of the TAV’s 20-committee structure. This committee is charged with monitoring General Assembly activity and proposing statutory changes governing the operation of Treasurer’s offices across the Commonwealth. As a member, I will strive for opportunities to bring the interests of the City of Manassas to the forefront in pertinent discussions and legislative revision efforts.

My TAV membership has also afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with my peer Treasurers to identify best practices and assess their potential application to enhance operations in my office. For example, one of the Treasurers in Northern Virginia has several years of experience in operating the same financial management system we are in process of implementing in my office. I am in on-going communication with her to determine how we might utilize that experience to ease our implementation process and maximize our use of all the system’s functions.

In my brief time in office, I have earned the support and respect of my fellow Treasurers to the extent that I have received formal campaign endorsements, including one from a former TAV president who also instructed one of my initial certification courses.

My diligence and commitment to optimum performance as Treasurer for the City of Manassas is well-reflected in my accomplishments to date. I and my staff have successfully implemented the 2nd phase of a new financial management system. Through the Office’s Citizen’s Self Service (CSS) portal, Manassas City residents can go online and search their real estate and personal property tax bills and we are working to expand online payment options, some of which we hope to announce in the very near future. The Treasurer’s office has assumed authority of the Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) bank accounts and are now managing the funds of the EDA and working with the City’s Economic Development department to establish sound financial management and cash control processes for department funds

Documentation of my accomplishment and performance speaks for itself. I have predicated a solid record of accuracy, efficiency, transparency, compliance and accountability in executing all functions of my office. I have established and delivered an excellent level of customer service. Most of the voters recognized my capabilities and, consequently, placed me in this position of public trust. During my time in office, I believe that I have lived up to their expectations. I vow to the voters of the City of Manassas the I will continue to uphold these standards.

At Potomac Local, we will never tell you for whom to vote for but if you have strong feelings toward a candidate and want to tell our readers who to vote for, you may submit your post for publication

  • Debbie Hanssen Edenhart

    What a load a horse manure!!! I have to deal with the Treasurer’s office on a weekly basis. Mrs. Folks has no idea what she is doing, blames circumstances on others and tries to take credit for what others have done or are doing. She was fired from the Manassas Ballet before the election. The tax site has been down for most of her time as Treasurer and when it was operating the information was incorrect. She blamed downtime on the IT Dept. The retired Treasurer, Robin Perkins, who has had to try to train Mrs. Folks has posted a photo wherein she is supporting Russ Harrison – THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES. Our own Mayor has posted that he supports Russ Harrison – THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES. People are still wondering where their business tax refund checks are. A person who has not lived in the City for 1.5 years just got a personal property tax bill for a car he got rid of. Take a look at Manassas Speaks and you can see the letter and the bill. The poor staff at the Treasurer’s office are working hard to keep things running correctly because their boss has no clue. She took a selfie of herself and her staff and posted it on FB, on company time, with a company phone, to promote herself and that is an election no-no and she was reported for it. She spends her campaign funds taking “family to dinner in Florida to discuss election”. Huh? Then again in North Carolina??? Come-on people. Wise up. We need someone in that office who knows what he is doing.

    • Allen Muchnick

      Ms. Edenhart,

      Shame on you for spreading a bunch of hateful lies, fake news, and smears! Ms. Folks was not fired from her job with the Manassas Ballet, and she has done nothing improper or illegal while in office.

      Posting a St. Patrick’s Day greeting from the Treasurer’s Office on Facebook is hardly the scandal that the Manassas Republicans imagine it to be.

      It’s neither surprising nor consequential that the Republican former treasurer and our Republican mayor have endorsed their Republican crony and candidate for treasurer.

      The erroneous car tax bill is likely the fault of the commissioner of the revenue’s office, which assesses all local taxes. The commissioner of the revenue’s office is responsible for notifying the treasurer’s office when a vehicle had been moved out of the City.

      Manassas voters deserve respectful and factual civil discourse, not Trump-style character assaults.

      • Fist Rockbone

        Allen, I can understand your desire to leap to the defense of Ms. Richie-Folks, what with you being the Chairman of the Manassas Democrat Party, which to-date you conveniently fail to disclose in your prolific web comments. However, all you do is dismiss, deflect, and make counter-accusations. Still, the truth is getting out there. It seems a couple of local blogs and websites are putting out some pretty solid information on Ms. Folks, or on the many, many aliases she’s gone by over the years. Check out Black Velvet Bruce Lee’s investigative reporting, or that of ManassasSpeaks, or even the personal accounts of local citizens over at the patch. A history of mismanagement of personal finances, questionable campaign expenditures, inept and unprofessional conduct while in office, it’s all coming out.

        As far as your trying to deflect to another elected official to defend your feckless fellow partisan, I ask, why weren’t all of these problems manifested while the offices previous treasurer and our current commissioner of revenue were working together? Nothing like what is happening today with Ms. Folks occurred in the three years preceding her election. Pretty simple to figure out. Things were running fine. Ms. Folks takes over, and things start to go wrong. Deny, deflect, and make all the counter accusations you’d like, the truth is coming out. At least some people will know what Ms. Folks is all about, this time.

        • Allen Muchnick

          First of all, there is no “Democrat Party”. It’s the Democratic Party. “Democrat Party” is a disrespectful Republican slur.

          Second, Ms. Folks’ “many, many aliases” represent nothing more devious than taking her husband’s last name during each of her previous marriages.

          Third, the recent “problems” with the Treasurer’s office are merely exaggerated, imagined, or manufactured incidents promulgated by Russell Harrison partisans.

          Fourth, the only reason the Treasurer’s Office was tasked last May with refunding excessive business tax is because the incumbent commissioner of the revenue, Doug Waldron, ignorantly assessed the illegal business tax rates for three straight years.

          As Michele Obama says, “When they go low, we go high”. Kudos to Patricia Richie-Folks and Alonita Vannoy for running positive election campaigns. I trust the voters of Manassas to reject Russell Harrison’s pathetic character attacks on November 7.

          • Fist Rockbone

            First, I could care less at any offense you have taken, by my referring to your party, as the Democrat Party.
            Second, Richie-Folks has like 26 aliases. How many husbands has she had?
            Third, now you blame her opponent, when citizens are writing letters to the editor outlining the problems they’ve experienced in the Treasurer’s office since Richie-Folks-Kind-whatever has taken over?
            Fourth….There you go again, blaming someone else for the LOOONG delay. So whose fault is it? City Council? The Commissioner of Revenue? I thought it was Richie-Folks, the treasurer, who had to issue the refunds.

            Something I’ve noticed is there aren’t any citizens leaping to her defense, or writing glowing testimonials to her efficiency. Going to take more than the protests and attempts at misdirection laid down by a johnny-come-lately partisan who has tried to blame her opponent, some deep-state Perkins loyalists, the Commissioner of Revenue’s office, City Staff, the City Manager, and even the City Council. Going to blame the Russians next?

  • Fist Rockbone

    “My diligence and commitment to optimum performance as Treasurer for the City of Manassas is well-reflected in my accomplishments to date.”

    LULZ! Oh this is RICH! If delayed refunds, debits and credits applied to the WRONG company and attempts to tax the vehicles of FORMER Manassas residents are Ms. Folks standard of diligence and commitment to “optimum performance”, the city would be well-served by showing her the door.

    • Allen Muchnick

      Russ Harrison and his Republican cronies have subjected Ms. Folks to a witch hunt, in a desperate effort to justify Harrison’s election.

      So the Treasurer’s Office made a few innocent mistakes and later fully corrected them. That’s hardly evidence that Ms. Folks is unfit or has mismanaged the office.

      On the other hand, Harrison’s repeated and unfounded assaults on Ms. Folks’ performance and qualifications reveal his true character.