The Daily Sentinel asked a series of questions for chamberlain candidates in the city of Oneida. Each candidate was given 700 words to respond. The following are the answers from chamberlain Democratic candidate Lillian White.
White has worked in banking for 26 years in New York City and worked for J.P. Morgan Chase as an executive director. She’s known in the community for her work in the Oneida Rotary Club as past president and serves on the Oneida Library Board.
What makes you qualified for the position of city chamberlain?
During my 26 years in banking, one of my key responsibilities was the custody of clients’ assets.
In learning about the recent investigation in the chamberlain’s office of the missing City of Oneida funds, my experience in banking and particularly in custodial management would be advantageous in ensuring we have safeguards in place for proper handling of our residents’ payments.
Do you have any experience preparing a budget?
I have been involved with several local organizations that have active budgets, including; St. Peters Lutheran Church in Verona, the Oneida Public Library and during my tenure at JP Morgan.
I have served and been involved in annual reviews and/or preparation of budgets of varying degrees for these entities. I’ll be the first to say ideas do not always come from our past experiences. Other communities in Upstate New York are able to lower their tax rates through prudent planning.
I would look to leverage these communities, get educated on how they were able to accomplish this and see if it makes sense for our community.
Being a steward of the peoples’ tax dollars is an important responsibility and one I would not take lightly. One of the most important aspects of any sound budget is a line for reserves to be used for future capital projects. That is very important to our city’s longevity and prosperity.
If elected, what would you do your first month?
Coming into this office with a fresh set of eyes coupled with my experience in the banking field, I will no doubt make some waves. “Because we’ve always done it that way,” is not a phrase in my vocabulary. I would evaluate procedures for handling receipts and payments. I would look to reconciliation and reporting processes and ensure that our systems are current. I would then present findings and opportunities for savings and safeguards with a preliminary plan to implement those changes to the mayor and the City Council.