Lincoln town treasurer ends administrative leave by retiring

Posted May 28, 2013, at 2:44 p.m.
Last modified May 28, 2013, at 4:24 p.m.
Gilberte Mayo
Gilberte Mayo

LINCOLN, Maine — Town Treasurer Gilberte Mayo has retired, interim Town Manager William Lawrence said Tuesday.

“We are grateful for her 27 years of service. I have no other comments,” Lawrence said in an email released late Friday afternoon. On Tuesday, Lawrence said town officials will begin searching for Mayo’s replacement next week and that town worker Melissa Quintela is the town’s interim or acting treasurer.

Mayo had been on administrative leave with pay since April pending the outcome of an internal investigation. When they announced the investigation in mid-April, Lawrence and other town officials declined to comment on why Mayo had been placed on leave or when the leave began.

Mayo, who has an unlisted telephone number, could not be reached for comment. Town Council Chairman Steve Clay did not immediately respond to a telephone message left Tuesday.

Mayo had served as town treasurer, deputy town manager and occasionally as interim town manager during her career, last serving as interim manager in 1995.

Mayo won the Government Finance Officer of the Year award from the Maine Government Finance Officers Association in 1998. She also served as president of the Maine Municipal Tax Collectors and Treasurers Association and taught classes on excise taxes, tax liens and payroll procedures for the tax collector and treasurers association.

Since 2007, as the town’s welfare director, Mayo ran the town’s home heating program, collecting donations to pay heating costs for seniors and town families who could not afford them.

Mayo also was the local director of the state’s FarmShare program, which allows residents 60 or older — 55 if Native American — who earn as much as $20,147 per year in a one-person household or as much as $27,214 per year for a two-person household to receive $50 worth of fresh local produce from Maine farms for eight weeks during the growing season.

Mayo and town Assessor Ruth Birtz took responsibility in October 2012 for about $1.2 million in budgeting errors discovered that month by Town Manager Bill Reed, other town workers and the town’s auditors. The errors included a $200,000 overbudgeting of revenue because of the double-booking of Homestead Tax Exemption funds and an $809,000 underestimation of projected expenses in the town’s Tax Increment Financing accounts.

The errors were caused by miscommunication and problems with the town’s spreadsheet program, officials said. Both errors occurred in the 2011-12 budget.

Town leaders effectively pardoned both for the errors, saying that Birtz and Mayo had exemplary records as town employees and that the town’s budgeting processes were fundamentally sound in that the errors were discovered during the first auditing process that could have caught them.

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