By Roger Utnehmer
Wisconsin voters are being asked on April 3rd if they would like to see the office of state treasurer abolished. Another question to be asked in the future is should the office of county treasurer also be abolished.
Several county positions are more administrative than political. Being a good county treasurer is not a Democrat or Republican issue. A better system of government would be to have the functions of county treasurer handled by a professional with an accounting background appointed by the county board rather than the winner of a partisan popularity contest.
When the current Door County treasurer, Jay Zahn, was asked to comment on charges he was conducting personal business on county time his response was “no comment” and a phone hang up. The accusation that he was doing work for the Republican Party, Miss Door County pageant, the Sevastopol school board and his bridge club on county time using a county computer deserved a better answer than “no comment.”
A private business would not put up with an employee conducting personal business on company time. And many businesses would fire an employee for personal use of a company computer.
Government needs to be more like the private sector. If a business with a budget the size of the office of the county treasurer was looking to hire a manager you would expect a degree or background in accounting at the very least. Yet, because Wisconsin makes the office an elected political position, it becomes a popularity contest rather than merit selection.
If Wisconsin voters eliminate the office of state treasurer the next step should be to amend the constitution and do the same on a county level. Professional administrators make more sense than politicians.
That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.