BartonA veteran of State Treasurer John Perdue’s office says teamwork helped push his four-county territory past the $1 million mark in unclaimed assets returned for fiscal 2016.
“It’s just great teamwork between the office staff, myself and the unclaimed property staff,” said Sandy Barton, who has manned a Treasurer’s Office post on 258 High Street the last 15 years. “We work together very well on our claims and it was a joint effort that we were able to do it.”
Barton is head of a four-county Treasurer’s Office territory that includes Monongalia, Harrison, Marion and Taylor counties. In the just-concluded year he was listed as the originator of 628 claims resulting in $1.2 million returned. The Morgantown-based office had never surpassed $1 million before. The Treasurer’s Office returned $13.8 million overall in fiscal 2016, next only to the plus-$14 million of 2011.
Barton is the only full-time staffer in Morgantown, but has the benefit of a staff in Charleston dedicated to processing claims.
He processed many more life insurance claims than usual in the just-concluded fiscal year. Barton thinks he knows the reason -- Treasurer Perdue’s strong advocacy that life insurance companies surrender benefits when the policy holder is dead and beneficiaries can’t be found.
“We saw a lot more life insurance policies than we had in the past,” Barton said. “The fact the number increased had to have something to do with that, the fact they knew they had to.”
Those claims often proved hard to untangle, Barton said. The proceeds were often part of a probated will. “We had super, super cooperation from county clerks’ probate offices. They were fantastic working with us. If we needed a final distribution on an estate, needed a will, etc. they were always a big help to us.”
Barton is a common sight on High Street and in greater Morgantown, helping to promote all of Treasurer Perdue’s programs, including financial literacy, college savings and public investment through the office’s Board of Treasury Investments.
He is a perpetually sunny soul, eager to help the Treasurer’s constituents.
“Any boss would do well to have a bunch of Sandy Bartons on hand,” Treasurer Perdue said. “He never seems to have a bad day and is always busy for the good of this office. I congratulate him on this milestone.”
Barton, 60, is a 1979 West Virginia University graduate and formerly operated a business selling WVU merchandise and other items before coming on board with Treasurer Perdue.
""It is not surprising that Sandy Barton has achieved over one million dollars in money returned to the people of the state of West Virginia,” said Monongalia County Circuit Clerk Carye L. Blaney. “I applaud his hard work and congratulate him on such a huge accomplishment. Sandy works tirelessly on behalf of the State Treasurer's Office and has helped so many people access their unclaimed property. Our office works very closely with him to help the citizens of Monongalia County make sure their hard earned money is returned to them and their families.
“The State Treasurer's Office under Treasurer John Perdue has done so much for the people of West Virginia and Sandy Barton is one of the main reasons why the people trust and value the State Treasurer's Office.""Barton can be reached at 304-285-3258. The web address for the State Treasurer’s Office is www.wvtreasury.com. One may search the state unclaimed property database there. Phone number is 1-800-642-8687.