Garfield County Treasurer race: Incumbent points to experience, hard work |

Garfield County Treasurer race: Incumbent points to experience, hard work

Georgia Chamberlain has been Garfield County’s treasurer and public trustee for 20 years and thinks that should count for a lot as she seeks re-election this year.”I have the experience, and I’m excited about new things that I can do in the office. I have things in the pike that I want to see to fruition. I enjoy my job, and I feel I’ve done a good job. I certainly have worked hard at it,” she said.Chamberlain, a Democrat, is being challenged this year by Silt-area resident Gala Ivie, a Republican who is now deputy treasurer and deputy public trustee in Eagle County.Chamberlain describes herself as a “working treasurer.””I’ve treated it as a job, not as a political position,” she said.She said she has worked to make her office accurate and efficient in what it does. She also has placed a high priority on courteous customer service and staying on top of new technologies even as she keeps costs in line, she said.One of her goals has been to keep staffing at a minimum. Chamberlain said one way she is able to limit her office staff to six people is by cross-training so everyone can do every job.She said she doesn’t ask her staff to do anything she wouldn’t do herself.”I work with my staff; they don’t work for me. We all work for the citizens of Garfield County,” she said.One of her customer service goals is to expand hours at an office in Rifle that she opened five years ago to better serve people in that part of the county. It’s generally open Tuesdays through Thursdays now. Chamberlain hopes to have it open five days a week.She also has plans to begin offering e-filing and e-recording for foreclosures, and in the spring she began offering property owners the ability to pay their taxes with credit cards. But she said she doesn’t widely advertise that service because of the 3 percent fee that credit card companies charge, which can amount to a lot of expense to the county on a big tax bill.Chamberlain also is responsible for investing county funds, and seeks input from a hired financial advisor and from an advisory committee in making investment decisions.Chamberlain’s office deals with property owners who have been foreclosed on by lenders or have failed to pay their taxes. She said her office doesn’t judge those who find themselves in such circumstances.”Our position is just to get the work done and done accurately,” she said.She considers meeting people through her office and the Colorado County Treasurers’ Association to be highlights of her job. She said she also strives to cooperate with different county departments and put personalities aside.Chamberlain also takes responsibility for whatever comes out of her office, and backs her staff, she said.”They make me shine, and I try to make them shine,” she said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext.

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: Garfield County treasurer and trusteeOccupation prior to political office: had a secretarial services business in Carbondale and worked for a bank in AspenAge: 58Family: Husband, John, two daughters; one granddaughterHometown: CarbondaleParty affiliation: DemocratWhen did you come to Garfield County, and from where?: 1976. She was born in New Orleans and grew up in San Antonio, Texas

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