Commissioners prepare to appoint new treasurer

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By AJ Vicens

When it comes to choosing the new Jefferson County treasurer to replace the outgoing Faye Griffin, Commissioners Kathy Hartman and Kevin McCasky take a slightly different approach.

Both agree that the most qualified person should get the job, but when it comes to politics, they are on different pages.

"It is a Republican that had the seat, and Republicans have had some setbacks in elective office in the county," McCasky said. "It's not a key issue, but it's definitely something I'm very much concerned about."

Hartman, the lone Democrat in the Jeffco commissioners’ office, said politics shouldn't enter into the appointment process, but she also acknowledged political realities.

"I've always thought that the treasurer should be a nonpartisan job anyway," Hartman said. "But realistically, if I start fighting for a Democrat, I'll lose anyway."

Griffin was elected to the county commission on Nov. 4, and the commissioners hope to appoint a replacement before she joins the board Jan. 13.

Ideally, partisan politics shouldn't be a deciding factor, Hartman added.

"My issue is that we have the best treasurer we can get for the citizens of Jefferson County. I'm totally disinterested in party affiliation after that. I think that's what our citizens want."

Actual qualifications are important to the commissioners.

"I believe first and foremost that (the candidate) be committed to serving the citizens and be customer-service oriented," McCasky said. "Commitment to serve the citizens is by far paramount."

"The treasurer is responsible for managing all of our tax collection efforts, as well as investing our funds," Hartman said. "We need a treasurer who understands the investment world, but more importantly understands managing a department."

McCasky added that there's already a "seasoned, experienced and skilled staff" in the treasurer's office, and Griffin's replacement should be able to utilize that staff to get the job done.

Griffin would prefer that Pat Weber, her chief deputy and a woman with many years experience in the treasurer's office, take over for her.

"It would be least disruptive for my office if Pat could be appointed," Griffin said. Weber said that the decision will be "up to the commissioners," and that her interest in the job "depends." She wouldn't elaborate.

McCasky said the commissioners will gather resumes with cover letters through the end of the year, and hopefully an appointment can be made by the end of the day Jan. 13, 2009, the same day Griffin is sworn in as District 1 commissioner. He said he's received one application personally, but is not sure if others have been submitted to the commissioners’ office. Hartman said she hadn't received any applications.

The commissioners will appoint a treasurer that will serve through the end of Griffin's elected term, which ends in 2010. The position will be on the ballot for Jeffco voters in the fall 2009 election.

Want to be treasurer?

If you're interested in becoming the next Jefferson County treasurer, submit a cover letter and a resume to commish@jeffco.us, or mail a hard copy to the Jefferson County commissioners at: 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80419.