May 18, 2018
I cannot believe how time flies. I have spent over 40 years in public service, with 34 of those as Clark County Treasurer. I have truly enjoyed every moment and couldn't be more thankful to the voters of Clark County for the opportunity. It is hard to imagine not continuing on in the role. However, over the last few months I, along with my family, have been talking through whether to campaign again for County Treasurer. The decision has not been an easy one. I have dedicated my career to public service, having been fortunate to work at the federal, state and local levels of government. I delight in helping people and still have a passion for wanting to make our government better. There are so many reasons to continue to stay - there is still a lot left to do.
As I contemplated my decision, I drew on my many memories of my time in office. Looking back to when I first started, the hard working staff had to process tax and assessment payments manually by recording the payments in large heavy ledger books and binders. In those early years, it took almost three months to process and deposit property tax checks. Now with the help of technology, tax payments are processed and posted within days. There have been a number of other innovations in the Clark County Treasurer's Office such as:
- The implementation of automated property tax system software
- Improvements to mail-in payment processing and the addition of online payments
- One stop service in the Joint Lobby of the Assessor, Auditor and Treasurer's Office
- Establishment of a county investment pool
- Implementation of a debt management system
- Development of the Treasury Web Portal for communicating with taxing districts
- Ongoing strategic planning and performance measurement
- Delivery of an annual office report to citizens
- Implementation of electronic real estate excise tax and point of sale cashiering systems
- Providing up-to-date banking practices for the county and taxing districts
- Online property tax foreclosure auctions
- Improving access to information through the Treasurer's Office Web site, Facebook and Twitter - social media
I have strived to make these improvements with the hope of leaving the office in better condition than when I arrived, and I am still very committed to ensuring future success for the office. To that end, we recently updated the Treasurer's Office Strategic Plan for 2018 - 2023. This plan will shape the future of the office for many years. Already, staff have been busy working on implementing the 2018 goals. As stated in the opening letter of the Strategic Plan, "It's designed around the central concept of trust - trust with our community, trust with our county partners, and trust with our stakeholders."
I am also still committed to the people in my organization. Clark County citizens are fortunate that the Treasurer's Office is made up of such a talented, well educated, innovative, and experienced staff. I am most proud of their commitment to service and work ethic in providing the best in treasury management. I believe the senior management team is the best there is in the state. We are viewed by other counties as a progressive and innovative office, using the best practices in treasury management. Government officials have come from around the state and country to learn more about our treasury and tax collection operations.
Currently, I am the longest serving Treasurer in the State of Washington and the most senior county elected official in Clark County. There are still many things I would like to do in the office, but I have decided that at this time of my life (life is short!), that I would like to spend more time with my family and pursue other interests and passions. As a result, I have decided not to seek re-election for county treasurer. I am looking forward to being active in the local political scene and helping mentor future candidates for public administrative offices. I will also continue to work in Olympia on improving state and county government by working with our elected officials in developing effective local and state policies and modernization of our outdated laws. I believe it is every citizen's duty if they are able, to participate in the governance of our democratic society.
I am excited about my next adventures in life and I want to thank all the employees of the Treasurer's Office past and present and fellow county employees in other departments and offices for making a difference in the lives of our fellow citizens and for future generations. I know I am putting the office in good hands and have fulfilled my obligation of leaving the office in better condition than when I arrived. I am proud of having been a part of Clark County government and serving with my fellow County Treasurers in the State of Washington. It has also been a pleasure to work with Treasurers, Tax Collectors and other county officials from the 3,069 counties throughout the United States. And a special thank you to the citizens of Clark County for putting your trust in me to manage the publics' monies for the last 34 years.