Vail Daily editorial: Renzelman for treasurer
October 17, 2016
This editorial has been corrected. Teak Simonton was first elected in 2002. She was not appointed to the position.
This year's race for Eagle County treasurer is a bit different. The campaign features a pair of current office-holders: Treasurer Mari Renzelman, a Republican, and Eagle County Clerk & Recorder Teak Simonton, a Democrat. Simonton is at the mid-point of her most recent term in her current office. Renzelman was appointed to the treasurer's job by the Eagle County commissioners following the retirement late last year of longtime office holder Karen Sheaffer.
Simonton was first elected in a competitive race in 2002, but has run unopposed since then. This is Renzelman's first try for public office. The lack of campaign experience is unusual given that both have plenty of on-the-job experience.
Simonton is seeking the treasurer's job in search of a new professional challenge. Given her record as clerk and recorder, she'd do well in the new position. Simonton says she wants to make the treasurer's office more customer-friendly, with more public outreach and, perhaps, greater advertising of the county's annual tax lien sale.
But Simonton would be new at the job. There would be a learning curve.
Renzelman, by contrast, has 16 years of experience in the office, and was Sheaffer's chief deputy for the past several years. That level of experience is important in this job.
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The Eagle County Treasurer's Office collects the property taxes and other funds for the roughly 80 taxing entities in the county, from the Gypsum Cemetery District to Eagle County Schools. It's a big job, involving hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Renzelman knows the policies and procedures of that office as well as anyone can. She brings the same level of knowledge to the state laws that govern how her office works.
If there was anything amiss in the treasurer's office, it might be time for a change. County taxpayers are always well-served by more public outreach — especially when it comes to parting with significant sums of money.
But Simonton's good intentions are outweighed by Renzelman's knowledge and experience.
Simonton is a good county clerk. Renzelman is a good treasurer. There doesn't seem to be a good reason to change a situation that's working well.