The town comptroller is an appointed official, serving a two-year term. The current term runs from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021.
Michael Cohen, a certified public accountant (CPA), was appointed January 1, 2012 after having served as the chief accountant in the Comptroller’s Office for the previous 1.5 years. Prior to joining the town, he was employed as controller of Time Warner Cable’s Albany Division for over 12 years and as an auditor for Coopers & Lybrand (currently PriceWaterhouseCoopers) in Philadelphia, PA for 4 years.
Departmental Mission & Responsibilities
The town supervisor is the chief fiscal officer for the town; the Comptroller's Office is the financial arm of the Supervisor's Office. The Comptroller's Office oversees all town financial activities in order for the supervisor to carry out the appointed duties as chief fiscal officer.
The Office of the Town Comptroller has the following general responsibilities described under town law:
Keep separate appropriation accounts as described by town law and preventing the over expenditure of such accounts
Assist the supervisor in preparing the town’s annual operating budget
Furnish to the supervisor information and data necessary to enable the exercise of powers, performance of duties and generation of reports required by law as the chief fiscal officer
Other responsibilities include all financial data collected and recorded properly as mandated by New York State Audit and Control and following all current accounting and auditing principles and standards.
The responsibility of the comptroller is to implement and administer the financial policies of the town as set forth by the Town Board. The town comptroller is responsible for the following:
Accounts payable, purchasing, cash management, and financial reporting
Coordination of the town’s Annual Financial Audit
Responsibility for departmental budgetary compliance
Processing of financial transactions
Assist the Town Board in the periodic update to the town’s Procurement Policy
Update town’s Investment Policy annually
Ensure the town maintains its excellent bond rating
Update mileage reimbursement rate as established by the IRS
Performing internal audits of various town departments
Oversight of all municipal bonds and their associated financial work
Oversight of letters of credit and bonds posted by developers working within the Town of Bethlehem
Financial oversight for each of the town’s water and sewer districts