The Republican candidates for Lake County treasurer both have a history of public service, but they bring very different professional backgrounds to their campaigns.
Jeri Atleson is a certified public accountant who serves on the Fremont Township board. She believes office staffers and volunteers should get out into the community more to educate people about the tax bills the office sends out and related issues.
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David Stolman is a veteran Lake County Board member and an attorney. He believes the treasurer's office should be more transparent with the public, especially when it comes to tax bills.
Atleson and Stolman met with the Daily Herald this week to discuss the race.
Atleson, 37, of Mundelein, was elected to the township board in April 2013. She previously had served on the Fremont Public Library board.
She also serves as the treasurer of the Lake County Republican Party central committee.
Atleson said the treasurer has "a unique opportunity to do education through public outreach."
People often say they're confused by their tax bills, Atleson said, so the office should do a better job explaining the complex form.
She suggested working with the county assessor and clerk on such a project.
Additionally, Atleson said the treasurer's office should offer classes that would help taxpayers understand the bills. County officials offer such programs already, she acknowledged.
But Atleson also said she has volunteers ready to hold more sessions on weekends and in the evenings.
Stolman, 65, of Buffalo Grove, has served on the county board since 1992. He was the panel's chairman from 2010 to 2012.
Stolman called for more transparency on the bills themselves. He suggested including information about the money dedicated to local tax-increment financing districts on the forms.
"All of the layers of government have to be held accountable," he said.
Stolman also said the treasurer's office could publish more literature about the bills.
Both Stolman and Atleson pledged to resign their current public offices if elected treasurer.
The winner of the March 18 GOP primary will face Democrat Cynthia Plouche of Highland Park in November's general election. Plouche is running unopposed in her party's primary.
Incumbent Treasurer Robert Skidmore, a Republican, isn't seeking re-election.