Candidates > Pam Ferrell – Erie County Treasurer

Pam Ferrell - Erie County Treasurer

Experienced * Dedicated * Innovative


MESSAGE FROM ERIE COUNTY TREASURER PAM FERRELL

The Erie County Treasurer's Office had an open tax collection during the COVID-19 crisis for anyone wishing to pay their taxes in person. During this extraordinary time, any Erie County resident having trouble paying their property taxes may enter into a special contract. This contract is for your home or business property. Anyone wishing to take advantage of this program can contact my office. We also offer you the opportunity to make arrangements over the phone  to enter into this program while you stay safe at home. To contact the Erie County Treasurer's office: 419-627-7701.
 

 PFerrell - Logo
Your Full-Time On The Job Treasurer!


About Pam

  • A property owner and life-long resident of Erie County
  • Received a perfect Audit 2 years in a row from the State of Ohio
  • Reduced delinquent Tax from $10.9 million to $1.1 million
  • Earning Millions of Dollars of Investment Income through wise and safe investments - In 2014, the investment income was $268,000; the past 2 years it has been over a million dollars per year

Experience:

  • A property owner and life-long resident of Erie County.
  • Received a perfect Audit 2 years in a row from the State of Ohio Auditor.
  • Reduced delinquent Tax from $10.9 million to $1.1 million.
  • Earning millions of dollars of investment income through wise and safe investments.
  • 11.08.16 - Elected to first full term as Erie County Treasurer. 
  • 11.04.14 - Elected to fulfill unexpired term of former Erie County Treasurer Jo Dee Fantozz.
  • 1.12.14 - Erie County Democratic Party Central Committee appoints Pamela S. Ferrell as Erie County Treasurer; Erie County Treasurer Jo Dee Fantozz retired due to medical reasons.

Endorsements:

  • AFSCME Local 8
  • North Central Labor Council
  • UAW Tri-County CAP Council

Auditors Award - PFarrell



8.28.2020 - Pam: "What a great day for Erie County! It was an honor to be recognized by the State Auditor's office as they awarded us our perfect audit for the 2nd year in a row! Thank You to all of the other departments who made this possible! Keep up the great work!"

Auditors Award - Group Photo

 
* IMPORTANT INFORMATION *
 
As the election follies continue with Erie County Commissioners Matt Old and Pat Shenigo continuing their attacks on Erie County Treasurer Pam Ferrell, Pam responded to the Commissioners letter about the county's Investment Policy - which both Commissioners are members of the Investment Advisory Committee along with Treasurer Ferrell:
 
8.19.2020 - As 1/3 of the Investment Advisory Committee, I feel it is my duty to answer the Commissioners letter in regard to the County's investment policy.  Since Pat Shenigo and Matt Old serve on this board, I was somewhat surprised at the letter I received.  Now the Treasurer has been directed to divest our investments of certain stocks. For the record, Ohio state law prohibits the county from investing in foreign countries as your letter states. The fact is: The county has received a perfect audit for the past 2 years in a row shows that all laws were met.  Very few counties receive such a high honor.

Since the main concern is the Toyota stock, this investment is permissible under Ohio state law and our investment policy. This U.S. based Toyota stock is a company that provides financing to their dealerships. We have a large Toyota dealership in our county.    
           
Upon receiving this letter, I contacted other counties and I received 12 replies from counties that have purchased the same stock. They have no intentions on selling their stock because of the no callable interest rate.  What I think should have happened is that I should have been invited by the other board members to attend the meeting when this decision was made. But what did happen is that I was sent a letter demanding that I sell all foreign investments which the county has none.
 
For future reference, all of the county's investments are invested in U.S. companies. Toyota has dozens of plants in the U.S. and employs thousands of American workers.
 
The goal of the Investment Board and the Treasurer's job is to make the highest return on the county's investments..
       
Personally, I have never owned a foreign auto, but as Treasurer my responsibility is to all the citizens of our county and to work at earning as much interest income as possible. That is why when I came into office the investment income was 268,000 dollars; the past 2 years it has been over a million dollars per year. I feel that is doing a responsible job for the citizens of Erie County. 
 
Pam Ferrell
Your Erie County Treasurer
 
 
As you will recall, Pam Ferrell's opponent in the November 3rd General Election was provided space in the Sandusky Register to provide his opinion on county investments and the county land bank. You may read his July 24, 2020, op-ed here.
 
The Sandusky Register did contact Pam to provide her the opportunity to respond to the above op-ed. However, it was not printed in the same format as an op-ed as Pam's opponent. Pam submitted her response to Andy Ouriel today, August 10, 2020. Below is what Pam submitted. After you read her response, following below it is the written article by Andy Ouriel that was posted online today at 4:30pm.
 
Pam's response:
 
I would like to thank the Sandusky Register for giving me the opportunity to respond to my opponent's opinion.

His woefully uninformed or lack of experience on how county finance works was reflected in his opinion. When I came into office in 2014, the investment income was $263,000. During my tenure as Erie County Treasurer, this has increased every year. In each of the last two years, the investment income has generated over 1 million dollars per year. The county's investments are subject to state law and are managed in a prudent manner; taking into consideration market conditions while maintaining sufficient liquidity to meet the county's needs. Per state law, The County Investment Advisory Committee is comprised of myself as County Treasurer, Pat Shenigo and Matt Old as County Commissioners. We work well with our investment company as demonstrated by the commissioners renewing a multi-year contract last year with this company.
 
Regarding the status of the Erie County Land Bank. As everyone knows, I inherited the land bank when I took office. The land bank consists of all cities, villages and townships except for Sandusky City, which has their own. My opponent wants me to increase the burden on the schools and political subdivisions by taking funds from them that they are entitled to and give to the land bank. This year, I distributed $233,270.00 dollars from my delinquent tax collection to these entities, If you do the math, even for just 5 years, that is over 1 million dollars. This is why when the majority of the schools and political subdivisions contacted me in regards to this issue, they asked me not to give their money to the land bank; their need was far more important. As a property owner myself, who pays real estate taxes, we all know the more money they receive the less they need from all of us. Other counties have land banks, but this issue was addressed when their land bank was established, not when they were already in existence.
 
Pam Ferrell
Your Erie County Treasurer
 
Article that was written and submitted online by Andy Ouriel:
 
Treasurer, challenger trade shots
Aug 10, 2020 4:30 PM

SANDUSKY — With less than three months until November’s election, the Erie County treasurer candidates aren’t wasting time taking shots at one another.

The contested race for incumbent Democrat Pam Ferrell’s seat became heated when Republican challenger Caleb Stidham, a local consultant from Huron, recently called her abilities into question.

Stidham’s letter

Stidham raised several issues with what he perceives as Pam Ferrell’s shortcomings in a guest column recently printing in the Register.

“Pam Ferrell has made mistakes that have negatively impacted Erie County residents,” he wrote.

She "missed the mark in a major way this year by making poor investments that have cost the county a great deal of money,” Stidham continued. “If we had invested in longer-term notes, we would have reaped a much greater return on our investments. This is an irreversible mistake that shows poor judgment. I will ensure that Erie County gets an optimal return on our investments.”

Stidham also griped about how Pam Ferrell handles Erie County’s land bank, a tool to turn dilapidated and/or foreclosed properties back into tax-producing parcels.

Pam Ferrell "has made significant errors when it comes to the land bank, an important tool that allows the county to protect property values and prevent crime in abandoned homes,” Stidham wrote.

She "has allowed the land bank fund to deteriorate significantly since becoming treasurer in 2014," he added. "This is partially because she has vetoed attempts to add, sustainability, to the land bank fund, such as using delinquency fees collected by the treasurer’s office.”

Stidham also called out Pam Ferrell for her apparent nepotism in a failed attempt to control land bank operations. She wanted to place her husband, former county commissioner Tom Ferrell, and his brother, Perkins Township trustee Jeff Ferrell, on its board.

“My opponent has used the land bank board as a political tool,” he said. “At one point, (Pam) Ferrell attempted to stack the board with her relatives, a blatant attempt at a power grab. She also tried to block efforts to create a women’s sober-living facility in Erie County, despite support from both Democrats and Republicans. These actions were not just irresponsible but inexcusable.”

Stidham concluded his letter by referencing how Pam Ferrell mismanages county finances.

“It ought to be the responsibility of the individual who collects the county’s revenue, the treasurer, to advocate on behalf of the taxpayers’ interests,” Stidham said. “But that hasn’t occurred in a long time. This is perhaps why the county racked up more than $100 million of debt in the not-so-distant past under the leadership of my opponent’s husband, Tom Ferrell.”

Ferrell’s response

Pam Ferrell fired back at Stidham, calling him “woefully uninformed” due to his “lack of experience on how county finance works.”

“When I came into office in 2014, the investment income was $263,000. During my tenure as Erie County treasurer, this has increased every year,” Pam Ferrell said. “In each of the last two years, the investment income has generated over $1 million per year.”

Pam Ferrell emphasized how county finances “are subject to state law,” meaning they must be spent and/or invested in certain ways.

But every penny coming into her office, she vows, is “managed in a prudent manner, taking into consideration market conditions while maintaining sufficient liquidity to meet the county’s needs.”

Pam Ferrell then addressed the land bank situation — but, in her response, failed to bring up Stidham’s family-favoritism claims.

She then listed off some of her problems with Stidham.

“My opponent wants me to increase the burden on the schools and political subdivision(s) by taking funds from them that they are entitled to and give to the land bank,” Pam Ferrell said. “This year, I distributed (about $233,000) from my delinquent tax collection to these entities. If you do the math, even for just five years, that is over $1 million.”

She continued: “This is why, when the majority of the schools and political subdivision(s) contacted me in regards to this issue, they asked me not to give their money to the land bank. Their need was far more important.”

Stidham’s counter

Just like Pam Ferrell, who reviewed Stidham’s letter before making her comments, Stidham saw her words and countered.

He emphasized Erie County's dire financial picture, due to COVID-19, and how Pam Ferrell should have been ready for a scenario such as this.

“Any treasurer would have been able to raise the investment income during a period with unprecedented growth in the stock market, as was the case between 2014 and 2019,” Stidham said. "A sensible treasurer would have better prepared the county’s investments for an inevitable economic downturn.”

He dove into further detail: “You don’t need a prudent treasurer in good times as much as you need one in uncertain times. (Pam) Ferrell has clearly shown a lack of leadership here.”

Stidham fears the land bank could suffer, and possibly cease to exist, because of Pam Ferrell’s decisions.

“It’s clear that the treasurer doesn’t understand that the land bank is an investment into our communities,” Stidham said. “The land bank is a vital tool to protect our communities from abandoned properties. School districts and political subdivisions will receive more money in the long term from the increased property values that are generated from the land bank. For that reason, the land bank is one of the best investments a treasurer can make.”

He ended by saying, “Without this critical investment, my opponent is supporting the closure of the land bank — a short-sighted position that shows an unbelievable lack of judgment."