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McHenry County Treasurer (Republican)

Voting will take place Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Voters will be able to select 1 candidates in this race. The 1 candidates with the most votes will be elected.

Winner in this race will be elected for a term of 4 years.

Click a question below to display the candidates' answers to that question.

Why are you running for county treasurer?

Glenda Miller

I am running for McHenry County Treasurer because I enjoy helping people and showing them that their government works for them, not the other way around. As Chief Deputy Treasurer, Iíve had the chance to help thousands, and Iíve made some good friends. As Treasurer, I want to do even more to make the Treasurerís Office work for and with taxpayers and local officials. Beyond that, I believe I have developed a skill set uniquely suited for the position. By background and training, including an undergraduate degree in business administration and an MBA from Aurora University, combined with over two decades in community banking and my over 17 years as Chief Deputy Treasurer, I have both the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to be Treasurer. Finally, when the incumbent Treasurer announced his plans to retire, numerous Republican leaders, local officials and just regular people Iíve met as Chief Deputy, all called urging me to run. Many of these people have endorsed my candidacy and/or contributed to my campaign. For these reasons, I decided to run for McHenry County Treasurer.

Jeffrey Thorsen

I am a candidate for McHenry County Treasurer for several reasons. I will be a full time Treasurer who will be fiscally responsible in managing the operations of the Treasurer's Office to realize cost savings and improve its efficiency. I will ensure that the County's investments are safely invested with maximized returns. I will improve the transparency of where our tax dollars go and provide easier access to financial information.

You are seeking to replace a long-time incumbent who held the office for decades. What do you plan to do to ensure continuity of services? What will you do the same or differently?

Glenda Miller

As Chief Deputy Treasurer for the past 17 years, I was deeply involved in the development and implementation of the many technological advances that have transformed the office from its paper past to its internet present. I know how to build on those advances. I was privileged to be allowed to assemble the Treasurerís Office staff, which my opponent has said he would retain. Working with that staff, I will continue to deliver the high quality service taxpayers have come to expect. As to what I might do differently, I have said I would place a greater emphasis on outreach efforts in order to make the property tax system better understood by taxpayers and therefore more accessible to them. I have also proposed other changes, which can be found on my website www.glendamiller.com.

Jeffrey Thorsen

As I stated earlier, I intend to manage the operations of the Treasurer's Office to realize cost savings and improve its efficiency. I intend to work directly with the other McHenry County offices including the Assessorís and Recorderís offices to improve customer service for all stakeholders. I do not intend to reinvent the operations of the office nor do I intend to shake up staff. The changes I propose are subtle yet they will greatly enhance the customer service experience coming out of the office. I have much experience in managing staff through change and have done it successfully throughout my career. Continuity of service is certain. Customer service will be enhanced.

What can be done to make the treasurer's office run more efficiently?

Glenda Miller

Future efficiencies will only come from adapting technological advances to fit the requirements of the Treasurerís Office. Operating with a staff of 12, with expectation of an increasing workload resulting from a resumption of growth in residential, commercial, and industrial development sure to come; only those technologies can produce the increased efficiencies we must demand.

Jeffrey Thorsen

The Treasurerís office has 15 full time equivalent positions. This number of positions has remained relatively stable over the past 5 or so years. I intend to reduce, through attrition, the number of full time positions to 14. I intend to be a full time treasurer. As such, the office shall remain fully staffed at that level. I will monitor procedures and practices on an ongoing basis to hash out redundancies and find solutions to problems that slow process and workflow. I will use changing technologies to improve efficiency where it is prudent and appropriate.

What are your plans to modernize the office?

Glenda Miller

As I said in response to the previous question, I am committed to adapting technological advances to the operations of the Treasurerís Office. Currently, I am working with our software vendor to build on our existing platform to make both inquiries and payments less complicated and more convenient. In addition, I expect to make more information readily available to taxpayers. I am examining recent changes made in Cook and other counties as well as those recently announced by the State Comptroller in the information to be available on her site. I can certainly foresee a time when our existing platform will no longer be adequate for the demands we make of it. Working with other officials involved in the property tax process, I would hope to engage in an ongoing review of our future

Jeffrey Thorsen

The County Treasurerís website was a step in the right direction when it was introduced over a decade ago. It provided superior access to tax bill information when compared to many surrounding counties at the time. I have used it over the years in my role as a professional banker. However, the website has undergone little or no substantial change and provides limited information. It also has minor glitches in it that could have been corrected years ago. I have a long term goal to not only improve the operation of the web site, but to greatly expand information provided on it to include financial and levy increase information from each of the taxing units of government that impact our tax bill.

What can the treasurer's office do to be more accessible to residents?

Glenda Miller

As I noted before, I intend to expand outreach efforts to ensure that all taxpayers, especially seniors and active and retired military personnel, are aware of all exemptions for which they may qualify. In addition, we will try to make the entire property tax process better understood by taxpayers. In these efforts, we will utilize not only traditional means of communication, but also new means of outreach, including social media like Facebook, Twitter, and their competitors. I also plan to make improvements in the Treasurerís existing website by providing more detailed information on tax distributions, investment strategies and other Office operations.

Jeffrey Thorsen

I intend to be in the office every day in order to meet the needs of residents and all other stakeholders in a timely manner. When a resident brings an issue to my attention that involves another office, such as the Recorderís or the Clerkís, I will arrange to meet with that resident and a representative of the office in question to resolve the issue together. I also want to ensure that taxpayerís receive their tax bill no matter what date they have purchased their property. I intend to eliminate the instances where taxpayers discover they owe taxes only after their taxes have been sold. We need to cover the real estate transfer timing gap.

What is the most-pressing issue the treasurer's office faces?

Glenda Miller

The most pressing issue facing the Treasurerís Office is its stewardship of the countyís finances. As the official responsible for managing the countyís investments, the current economic uncertainty demands that the Treasurer pay close attention to market fluctuations, so as to both safeguard county funds and maximize investment returns, reducing the burden on county taxpayers. Along the same lines, McHenry County currently enjoys one of the highest credit ratings in the nation. This allows the county to manage its monies in such a way as to further reduce the taxpayersí burden. The Treasurerís Office must do all it can to help protect the Countyís credit worthiness.

Jeffrey Thorsen

The County Treasurerís goals for fiscal year 2011 included few action items and one of them stands out, ďTo find a solution to the water leak problem in the Garden Level of our new locationĒ. In Fiscal 2012, the main action goal was again ďTo find a solution to the water leak problem in the Garden Level of our new location.Ē Fiscal Yearís goals for 2013 include two action items (the water problem solution achieved). The first is ďVideo record delinquent tax sale to provide a more transparent operationĒ. The second is ďPaint interior of vaultĒ. Apparently, there are no other pressing issues facing the office in fiscal 2012/2013. Leadership includes strategic planning, methods of identifying, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and using that understanding to formulate short and long term goals. The most pressing issue in the office is a vacuum of leadership.

How would you differentiate yourself from your opponent?

Glenda Miller

What distinguishes me from my opponent is my over 17 years as Chief Deputy Treasurer. The Treasurer is an administrator, as is the Chief Deputy Treasurer. Together, they direct a staff of 12. They oversee that staff in the performance of their duties, the most important of which is, of course, the collection and distribution of property tax monies on behalf of over 200 units of local government. These communities and districts rely on the Treasurerís Office for the timely and accurate distribution of those funds to pay their bills and support the delivery of vital services to their residents. My opponent has no comparable executive and administrative experience with the management of public funds and the tax cycle process. Instead he offers a so-called fresh set of eyes and new ideas. When it comes to the Treasurerís Office, my vision is 20/20 and my ideas are and will be informed by those seventeen plus years at the Officeís highest level. The bottom line is my experience has prepared me to be the next McHenry County Treasurer.

Jeffrey Thorsen

I have a record of leadership on many levels. I have worked in the private sector banking industry in McHenry County for 26 years. I currently manage a bank branch that consistently ranks in the highest percentile in third party customer survey results. In my career, I have managed a 70 million dollar commercial loan portfolio and a 42 million dollar branch. Since 1999, I have been an elected Councilman of the City of Crystal Lake and take great pride in my record of fiscally conservative action. I hold long term leadership roles in organizations including Horizons for the Blind, McHenry County Salvation Army and the Crystal Lake Lions Club. I am a qualified candidate with a proven track record. Thank you, and I look forward to your vote on March 18th.

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