Garfield County Treasurer race: Challenger promises to modernize office
Gala Ivie’s goal for the Garfield County Treasurer’s Office is simple: “just bringing the office up to the 21st century,” she said.After incumbent and Democrat Georgia Chamberlain’s 20 years on the job, Ivie believes the office is in need of some fresh ideas. The Republican also thinks her 14 years of experience in county treasurer offices give her the knowledge and experience to introduce change into the Garfield County office.Ivie serves as deputy treasurer and deputy public trustee in Eagle County and previously worked in the Rio Blanco County Treasurer’s Office.”I don’t think there’s probably anything I can’t do in this job,” she said.Ivie has proposed a number of changes to the Garfield County office, including:• setting up a financial statement and ledgers in the current computer system that will automatically post daily;• creating a “positive pay” program for county warrants and checks to prevent fraudulent check cashing;• implementing a system of electronic depositing to produce faster clearing times for checks and replace delivery of deposits to the bank.One of her goals is to get tax payments deposited and earning interest as quickly as possible.”You’ve got to get that money in the bank. I mean, that’s what it’s all about,” she said.Some of Ivie’s goals, including expanding the hours of the Rifle treasurer’s office to five days a week and instituting e-filing of foreclosures, are goals for Chamberlain as well. Ivie said that when she first began her campaign in February, she wanted the office to allow credit card payment of taxes, something Chamberlain has since started to do. However, Chamberlain remains concerned about the 3 percent fee associated with such payments, but Ivie said the way to deal with that fee is to turn over the handling of credit card payments to a third-party vendor.Like Chamberlain, Ivie believes in cross-training of staff.”Everyone in the office should know how to do everything,” she said.She said she doesn’t believe in micromanaging, and if employees make mistakes, “It’s OK. Everything can be fixed.”Ivie said it’s important that the Treasurer’s Office cooperate with other county departments, local taxing authorities and local businesses. She also believes in investing some county funds in local banks to help keep money local.Ivie said she doesn’t understand why the treasurer’s job is an elected one.”It would have been nice to just be able to apply for the job,” she said.And as someone who raises miniature donkeys, “It’s been a little confusing because the donkeys are a Democratic symbol and I’m running as a Republican,” she adds with a laugh.But she’s anxious to get a chance to institute her ideas for change as county treasurer, and admits she wouldn’t mind the shorter commute as well.”I think I could do a really good job, and I would love to work in the county,” she said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff size: 6Annual budget: $541,056Main duties: Collecting taxes, investing county funds totaling more than $40 million as of Aug. 31, overseeing foreclosure proceedings and releases of deeds of trust as public trusteeSalary: $62,000 as treasurer, $12,500 as trustee
Occupation: Deputy treasurer and deputy public trustee, Eagle CountyAge: 50Family: Married to Terry, mother of a daughter and sonHometown: Rural SiltParty affiliation: RepublicanWhen did you come to Garfield County, and from where: 1999, after having been born and raised in Meeker and then lived in McCoy.
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