Both the Logan County treasurer and the circuit clerk positions are
coming open on Dec. 1, following departures of multi-term
officeholders. Carla Bender, former circuit clerk, was called to a
state position several months ago. In the same time frame, Mary
Ellen Bruns, county treasurer, announced that she would retire at
the conclusion of her current term.
Candidates for treasurer are
Chuck Conzo and Vicki Dugan. Seeking the circuit clerk's position
are Mary Kelley, Suzann Maxheimer and Rachel Bunner.
All candidates spent their allotted time telling 75 voters why
they were the choice for the office they were seeking, without a
single disparaging remark directed toward another candidate.
Opening statements from treasurer candidates
In the treasurer's race, Dugan made mention several times in her
remarks and when answering questions that she has been endorsed by
Bruns, the retiring treasurer. Dugan concentrated on explaining that
Bruns runs an efficient and public-friendly office, and Dugan
intends to carry on in that same manner. She stressed that currently
working in the office gives her a firsthand knowledge on how Bruns
runs the office, including payroll and the complex computer system
used by the office.
Conzo said that he has prepared himself for the treasurer's
position his entire career. He noted his 25 years of service with
the state of Illinois, most recently 17 as regional manager with the
Illinois Lottery. And he has served on several local commissions:
the city's Civil Service Commission, the Heritage Days Commission
and the Abraham Lincoln Bi-Centennial Commission. Conzo said he will
work very hard to learn the office, with persistence being one of
his strongest traits.
When asked about present concerns in the office, Dugan said to
keep everything going as well as Mary Ellen Bruns did, as the office
is very efficient, with very little waste.
Conzo said the concerns are the same as the county in these
difficult economic times, and to make sure the office is running in
the most efficient manner.
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When asked what their priorities would be, Conzo said service to
the public was first. He said it is important to organize around a
problem and solve the problem. He cited that when the state is
confronted by an issue, it does a little here and a little there but
doesn't really resolve the problem. He would devote all his
attention to the most important problem at hand until it is solved.
Dugan also said serving the public was her first priority. She
mentioned that at the treasurer's office no one waits in line. She
talked about how the John A. Logan annex allows the public to get
office assistance easier than coming into the courthouse. Dugan also
said accuracy and accountability to the Logan County Board by giving
them the best, most accurate and detailed information possible was
another priority of hers.
Hard financial times
The candidates were asked what they would do to assist a county
that is struggling financially.
Conzo said that although the budget is defined by the board, the
treasurer can be a voice and should speak out. He also added he
believes that as treasurer he should be involved with efforts to
revitalize the downtown and help promote tourism.
Dugan said it was important that the office maintain what they
already have. She added that she believes we can't afford any more
taxes and need to make the most of every dollar.
The two saw their public role a bit differently. When asked what
they will do to produce the best possible services coming from the
office, Conzo said he planned to use all local media as well as the
treasurer's Web site to make sure the community is as informed as
possible about what is happening.
Dugan said that the current availability and full disclosure of
information is already available to the public. "If it's not broke,
don't fix it," she said.
In closing remarks Dugan said she will work very hard to fill the
shoes of Mary Ellen Bruns if elected.
Conzo said he agreed the office runs efficiently, but there could
be things added. "There is always room for improvement," he said.
The general primary election is Tuesday, Feb. 2.
For more information on the election and candidates, see the
Where They Stand section below
Top Stories. There
you will find candidate positions.
Find additional election-related information in
Where They Stand and see
candidate support letters.
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