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Pat, In Her Own Words

By Greg L | 3 November 2017 | Manassas City | 3 Comments

We’ve decided to take a bit of a break from the web of deception Patricia (Fill-in-The-Blank) in the years prior to her relocating her flim-flam, here in Manassas. Pat has decided to make her case directly to the voters, as to why they should reelect her, and she remains true to form. In striving for a better-informed electorate, we’ve analyzed her statements made over at Potomac Local, and will dissect these statements, exposing the lies and half-truths contained therein:

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.

Oh really? When you were running, you charged personal out-of-state travel to your campaign. You treated your relations in Florida to dinner, on your campaign’s dime. Since taking office, customer service has cratered. When local businesses were due refunds, you were late, and you incorrectly applied one business’ rebate to the back-taxes of another. You’ve attempted to collect taxes on former residents of the city, no longer subject to personal property taxes. When mismanagement is pointed out, you blame other city departments, other city staff, and other elected officials.

If you think this might be a one-time thing, let me assure you it’s the norm.  There’s a flood of people out there outraged with the incompetence, inefficiency and utter disinterest that characterizes Patricia Richie-Folks disaster of a short tenure in this office.  Here’s just one testimonial we’ve received:

As we all know, the City Council massively increased our taxes for 2018 – but our Treasurer never updated her website with the new rates beginning July 1, 2017. So the Treasurer not only couldn’t get the site to work for more than a few weeks, but she couldn’t even be bothered to make sure it was right while it was up. A great deal of phone calls have been made to the Treasurer’s Office and this takes up my time and the clerk’s time and causes overtime expenses to the City’s payroll, which we are paying for. The Treasurer’s site also showed the incorrect tax assessment. She keeps blaming it on the City’s IT Department. When I’d call the Treasurer’s office to get the actual tax amount (which takes up my time and the clerk’s time) I’d be told to take the new tax rate and multiply it by the assessment – but the assessment amount shown on the Treasurer’s site was wrong.

Seriously, we can’t even have an accurate listing of the tax rate from the Treasurer’s office? How much more basic can you get?

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.

Too bad you don’t take responsibility for your screw-ups, as outlined above, choosing rather to blame unelected staff for your elected shortcomings. Due these statutes allow you to tax people outside of your jurisdiction?

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.

She makes the claim, yet again, that she “owned” a small construction firm. She didn’t mention this at all during her two unsuccessful runs for City Council. There’s nothing listed on her linkedin profile page, and no record of her ever having a business license in the many, many states where she’s lived. We checked, under every alias, in every state. Nothing. Ziltch. Nada. She’s never shared the name of the company, or the state in which it was incorporated or the year, yet we are supposed to believe she owned a construction company?

We know she was asked to resign by the Manassas Ballet for screwing up a T-shirt sale. She never mentions her time at Tru-Green, but was required to disclose at the time of her candidate filing. We think working for a company specializing in spreading “natural” fertilizer is something she’s uniquely qualified for, because she is so experienced in spreading BS.

She points to her AA Degree. She got a 2-year degree, and it only took her 4 years to do it. Oh, and this was in 1975, according to her linkedin profile. We’ve got news for you. A business degree from a 2-year community college in 1975 qualified you to be an office manager. You know, answer phones. Take dictation in short-hand. Type papers on an IBM Selectric typewriter. File papers in folders, in drawers. That’s the degree a secretary would pursue, to be a secretary. She made no effort, in the time between the end of her college career, until the time she took office to further her education. To busy running from the bill collectors, or too hard for the admissions department at a school to match your aliases with a transcript?

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).

Kinda mandatory for a City Treasurer to be a member of this organization, especially when one is woefully underqualified for the position. Best to get those certifications done as quickly as possible.

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.

Too bad the former Treasurer of Manassas, the one who actually knows what it takes to manage the city’s checkbook thinks you are a disaster.

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.

Um…Patricia, you do know that these initiatives were all put in place by your predecessor, don’t you? Your diligence and commitment optimum performance has resulted in delayed refunds and attempts to tax individuals outside of City jurisdiction.

Documentation of my accomplishment and performance speaks for itself. I have predicates 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.

She vows to continue to fail to achieve the standards she’s set for herself. Looking at her lifetime of poor decisions, poor management of her personal finances, and total lack of relevant experience, Manassas needs a new treasurer. If things are going this poorly in her office after only one year, imagine what it will be like after another term.

Let’s wrap this up with another testimonial from one of the businesses that have to deal with Pat (can we call you Pat?). Overjoyed with her performance probably isn’t the way you’d describe this:

I called one time and gave the clerk the address and then was asked “what is the zip code” ???? The whole City’s zip code is 20110!!!! The Treasurer’s office has become very frustrating for me to deal with.

That about sums it up, dontcha think?



The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.

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3 Comments

  1. A Concerned Citizen said on 3 Nov 2017 at 1:06 pm:
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    All these years I thought “if we had a trainwreck, it’d be at the old train depot”. It looks like the real trainwreck happened at City Hall, in the Treasurers office.

  2. Steve Thomas said on 3 Nov 2017 at 2:31 pm:
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    Greg,

    Thanks for your diligent pursuit of the truth. I can’t imagine how much time and effort it took to make sense of all of this. It seems that Ms. Richie-Folks thinks she is doing a great job, and has labeled any criticism as “nitpicking”. Apparently, she’s not only operating from a different set of priorities than that of the 1500 businesses who were owed refunds, she doesn’t understand what “accountability” means either.

    http://www.insidenova.com/news/election/manassas-treasurer-s-race-replays-same-candidates/article_9c9dc1ca-c017-11e7-b78a-578c3c491294.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=user-share

  3. Another Concerned City Citizen said on 4 Nov 2017 at 2:49 pm:
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    Very very well done, BVBL !!! Let us not forget the episode where Patricia getting Richie off the Folks tried to take credit for the school bus arm program when this was Robin Perkins’ baby that just happened to officiallystart-up a couple of month after she retired.

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