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Treasurer scolded by commish for Riverton office closure

Jul 13, 2017 - By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

Fremont County Commissioners have sharply criticized Treasurer Scott Harnsberger for withdrawing from the county clerk's office in Riverton.

His move led to the closure of that office, effective Thursday.

"I do believe the actions of the treasurer have negatively affected the people of the county," Commissioner Clarence Thomas said.

Residents complained to the county board Tuesday over the office's closure, and Fremont County Commission chairman Travis Becker encouraged the public to continue complaining to Harnsberger.

The longtime county treasurer's decision follows the commissioners' move to strip $19,000 in funding for bonuses from the treasurer's budget, effectively leading to a pay decrease for his employees.

Thomas said the county board's decision "explains itself in our times."

The county is facing a significant revenue shortfall, and widespread budget cuts were made for the new fiscal year that began this month.

"We are in hard times, and we need to know that," he said.

Regardless, Thomas said it's inappropriate for Harnsberger to use the pay decrease as a reason to close the Riverton office.

"I do believe this is all on him," Thomas said. "He needs to understand what servant leadership is --not narcissistic leadership. He needs to serve the people rather than serving himself."

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