Vail Daily column: Updates from the Treasurer’s Office
It was an exciting day on Nov. 22 when I took the oath of office to become Eagle County’s Treasurer and Public Trustee. As you may know, the Treasurer is responsible for issuing, receiving, tracking and distributing property taxes and county revenues. As Public Trustee I am also responsible for processing property loan payoffs and foreclosures. I knew as I developed my campaign last summer that my skills, knowledge and interests would be well aligned with the responsibilities that I have assumed. So far, I love my new job!
Over the past month and a half, I have been busy diving into the mechanics of the responsibilities and getting to know my staff, a devoted and knowledgeable group.
As expected, there are unique and interesting differences between the Clerk & Recorder’s Office and my new home. Both offices are somewhat cyclic, experiencing very busy times and also times when things are a bit calmer. These ebbs and flows occur at different times of the year, and given my previous experience I immediately saw an opportunity. I pow-wowed with Regina O’Brien, your new Clerk & Recorder, and we have initiated a cross-department training and staff sharing program designed to ease the burden for each department when things are really cranking. This program will enhance staff knowledge and should result in better service to the public and less expense to county budgets for some of the overtime or additional staffing that otherwise might occur.
Eagle County’s banking service needs are significant and complex, as you might imagine. There are multiple revenue collecting locations, depository and operating accounts, credit card and automatic payment accounts. We have a good relationship with banks and other institutions, and there is an opportunity to revisit, and in some instances renegotiate, contracts and relationships that have remained largely unchanged for many years. The department is currently working on a Request for Proposals for our needs and I believe we can save the county, and you, money in the fees we are charged for banking services. Members of the Treasurer’s Office and Finance Department teams will evaluate the proposals submitted prior to making the best possible decision for a future banking partner.
The next six months are a busy time for the Treasurer’s Office as we work to receive and record property tax payments. Monthly distributions of tax fractions must be calculated and remitted to literally hundreds of separate taxing entities, including the school districts, municipalities and special service districts. The portion of taxes that Eagle County retains must be carefully managed with an eye on planning adequate funds for capital obligations, and otherwise maximizing interest income through investments. With the help of my staff we are investigating opportunities in multiple areas to better manage the people’s money.
As my tenure continues in this new and vital position, I am excited at the prospect of working with my team, with other county offices and departments, and with financial mentors in the community to provide the best services possible. I especially look forward to receiving feedback and answering your questions as I become increasingly proficient with all of the responsibilities of the office. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at; 970-328-8868 or stop by to see me in my new office next to the Finance Department in the county building at the end of Broadway in Eagle.
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