Cha-cha-cha: Chamberlain, Chandler square off in race for Garfield County treasurer |

Cha-cha-cha: Chamberlain, Chandler square off in race for Garfield County treasurer

Lynn BurtonStaff Writer

When Republicans went looking for a candidate to challenge incumbent treasurer Georgia Chamberlain, Cheryl Chandler said she’d help out and give the race a look. After reviewing Garfield County audits, she decided it was time for change in the treasurer’s office.”More staff training is needed,” said Chandler. “Fiscally, there are things that aren’t being done. … It’s way time for a change. Garfield County isn’t the same as it was 16 years ago.”Chandler, a Silt-area resident, is a real estate broker for REMAX Mountain West in Glenwood Springs. She was raised in California and moved to Colorado in 1981 after a career in the computer industry that saw her rise from a keypunch operator to programmer.Chandler started working for Unocal at its oil shale operation in Parachute in 1982, and in the early 1990s was placed in charge of liquidating the company’s $700 million in local assets.”I’ve played with lots of money in my life,” Chandler joked.Chandler’s first involvement with the way Garfield County operates came 11 years ago during contentious public hearings about the Spring Ridge subdivision up Four Mile.”There was chair throwing … people were calling the P&Z members names. I thought `My heavens, we’ve got to have some changes here,'” she recalled.Chandler has served on the Garfield Planning and Zoning Commission since 1991, but said she will step down if elected Garfield County Treasurer.Chandler said one of the things she’d like to change in the treasurer’s office is staffing in the Rifle office. “I’d like to have full-time staff in Rifle,” Chandler said. “Now, it’s a half-time person.”Improvements are also possible with the way the treasurer’s office uses its computer system, Chandler said.The Garfield County treasurer’s office, plus the assessor and clerk and recorder, use Eagle Computer Systems software.Chandler said an Eagle Computer Systems employee told her the company offers nine training sessions to county offices, but the treasurer’s office has only participated in three of them.”You can’t get training if you don’t get in there,” Chandler said.Chandler said she’d also like to integrate the treasurer’s computer system with the clerk and recorder’s, so that information doesn’t have to be entered twice.”Now, they are being put in one at a time,” Chandler said. “We have an integrated system but we aren’t using it.”Chandler said she has been learning about the types of computer systems a county treasurer’s office needs from talking with treasurers in Eagle and Mesa counties.”I’m a brain picker,” Chandler said. “I’ve been talking to others, too.”Chandler said she won’t “hang up” her real estate license if elected treasurer. “I’ll probably do a couple of deals,” Chandler said. “I have a couple of elderly clients who won’t go to anyone else.”The Garfield County treasurer is responsible for tax sales that are held when property taxes are delinquent. When asked about a perceived conflict of interest due to her real estate involvement, Chandler cited state statues that prohibit treasurers from buying property at tax sales.If elected as treasurer, Chandler said she will give the job all she’s got.”I’ve never done anything less than 150 percent,” she said.Chandler, 54, is married to Norm Chandler, a rancher. She has a two-year associate’s degree from Orange Coast College in California.

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