Rockton and Roscoe candidates in first contested Winnebago County Treasurer's race since 1999
The race for Winnebago County Treasurer, a post held without opposition since 1999 by Sue Goral, has been entered by two local men, Randy Johnson from Rockton and Steve Schultz from Roscoe. The general election is Nov. 8, 2022, with the primary on June 28, 2022. Johnson and Schultz are both Republicans. Goral is a Democrat with no primary challenger. Candidates began collecting petition signatures on Thursday, Jan. 13, which must be turned in by March 14.
We asked each candidate to tell us more about themselves.
As a Rockton Township trustee I have made a positive impact on our community. During my first term we defeated the GLB Railway which would have allowed dangerous and toxic cargo to cross our county. I am working to clean the blight in the township, holding neighborhood garbage dumpster clean-ups and having abandoned vehicles removed from the streets. Improving the township cemeteries, improving Nygren Wetlands and rehabbing the Community Center. I have run a successful business for many years with a great employer/employee rapport. My accounting skills in the private sector and creating and adhering to budgets in the township.
During my newspaper career I worked with the county clerk, county assessor and county treasurer. I encourage all vendors to pay prevailing wages. I have been active in numerous community service organizations and various local government offices. My community service includes serving on various committees of the newspaper association, Rockton (now Stateline) Chamber of Commerce former vice-president and many years as a board member, Parks Chamber of Commerce board secretary and served on the Parks Economic Development Corporation board and charter vice-president of the Optimist Club.
I am running to bring improvements that will benefit all residents of Winnebago County. Homeowners in Winnebago County pay some of the highest real estate taxes in the country. I will work to lower the amount of unpaid property taxes in Winnebago County and address the number of properties in our county that don’t pay taxes and have not for years. This is a lot of money that could improve budgets for the numerous taxing bodies in Winnebago County. This also affects those paying their property taxes on time by raising the levy to make up for the deficit. Vacant properties need to be sold, rehabilitated and get back on the tax rolls.
I will work with our state representatives to reduce redundant spending through changing antiquated laws that have been in existence long before electronic media. We must offer payment methods that will help in the recovery of real estate taxes. Too many property owners are complaining their mailed payments are taking several weeks to reach the Treasurer’s office, I will address this concern.
I have been employed with the Treasurers office since 1976 and was appointed treasurer in 1999. I have kept this position for 22 years by running every four years. I enjoy working and helping the taxpayers of Winnebago County with any problems or issues they may have with their taxes. I am available by walking into our office directly, phone calls and email. I have a terrific staff that assist taxpayers in any way possible.
We understand that taxes are high in Winnebago, and the County Treasurer cannot do anything about lowering or raising tax bill amounts. The taxing districts submit their levy to the county clerks office for all the needs they have in running their districts efficiently. This amount makes up the tax bill total. This office collects the funds and distributes to the taxing districts throughout the year. Anything this office can do to explain or assist the taxpayer in understanding their tax bill we do, as customer service is our number one priority.
We have made many improvements in the Treasurer's office with email reminders, online check and credit card payments and have also installed a dropbox in the front of the Administration building for drop off service. I am always searching for better ways to serve the taxpayers while still maintaining the highest integrity of the office.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in business with an emphasis in accounting and finance. Passed the CPA exam. MBA from Northern Illinois University. 13+ years on the Winnebago County Board and Finance Committee. Successfully led nonprofit financial institutions for 32 years.
After taking early retirement I was approached by Paul Arena and Joe Chiarelli to run for the Treasurer position. I believe my education and experience position me well to fulfill the duties of the office and bring helpful improvements.
If elected, I hope to improve the investment returns on county funds. Bring best practice methods and tools to the office. Improve the taxpayer experience when interacting with the office. Make it easier for people to pay their real estate taxes.
I’m humbled and grateful for the tremendous response I have received from other elected officials, my County Board constituency, and other Winnebago County citizens when they have found out about my candidacy for this office. I will do my best to honor their confidence in me if elected to this position.