Steve Weber: Candidate Profile
Name: Steve Weber
City: 4 generations of Webers in Mokena.
Website: Political -- www.stevewebercpa.com; County -- www.willcountytreasurer.com
Facebook: Steve Weber for Will County treasurer
Office sought: Will County Treasurer
Family: Married 26 yrs., two daughters and son
Occupation: CPA, Will County Treasurer
Education: Lincoln Way High School, Lewis university BA, Major accounting/ Minor Finance, CPA from University of Illinois, 40 hours each year in CPE to retain CPA license.
Civic involvement: Former treasurer Will County Child Advocacy program, Former Chairman of the board Will County Land Conservancy, Former board member Salvation Army, Former treasurer Rainbow Council Boy Scouts of America 15 years, Current board member BSA- Boy Scouts of America. Former Exchange club member. Current Vice president Whitetails Unlimited.
Elected offices held: Will County Auditor 2000-2008, Will County Treasurer 2010-2018
Questions & Answers
Q. If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role. What differentiates you most from your opponent in the race?
A. I am a financial professional with 30+ years' experience as a CPA, Fraud examiner, and ten years in community banking. I lead over twenty bankers, accountants, cashiers in this office to invest $300 million, collect $1.9 billion in taxes and pay bills that total $400 million. Who would you hire a CPA that was the watchdog (Auditor) prior or a Real estate broker? This is not a clerks office but one that requires the correct background. During my term as County Auditor I was nationally recognized for my fraud discoveries and innovative accounting. Back then I audited the checkbook, now I write the checks and feel this was an important step to secure your tax dollars.
Q. What would you change about the way the office operates? Why?
A. We are the model that most Treasurers in Illinois follow and copy due to our success. We started many great programs such as, the prepayment program so you pay when and what you want to help the family budget. We started the free e check program to pay from your bank account. We were the first in the state to have a smartphone app to pay RE tax. We started the email verses US postal mail bill system to save money. We started the investment management in-house to gain over $50 million in interest income to the County. My 1st year in office we made over five times more interest than budgeted and returned over $250,000 back to the County. We have outsourced the printing of the bills to save money and gain a backup plan. We started investing the tax levy so we could earn more money for the schools and reduce property taxes. My platform is results, not politics, and I achieve this by adopting best practices in business. If I advise others the best way, I best do the same. My savings are over $8 million dollars since elected. Our levy investing (new program) will give the schools and other taxing bodies over $500,000 in interest this year. This is a non-planned windfall for schools and will help reduce property taxes. My office if you ever visit does not feel like a government office we are full transparent and share daily our investment details on twitter and Facebook and we treat our customers with great care and attention to get the results they need. I would love to give early tax payers a discount like Florida residents get, but we need the law changed to do this. You get a penalty when late it should be fair to get a discount if early.
Q. What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
A. The state's financial problems are significant and elected officials need the tools to deal with budget cuts and ways to reduce operating costs. This is what I do best and my proven results are over $8 million saved since elected. We're taxing our best people to death, and they are voting with their feet by leaving. This is what I am trying to stop with my results.
In addition to the above, the following questions provide more personal insight into you as a person:
A. I grew up on a farm were you had chores each day for most of the day and a strong work ethic was developed early. Had one of the largest paper routes in Will County as a teenager delivering papers on my bike with my brother and started a lawn mowing business at the same time. In high school I ran track and worked as a painter and landscaper and maintenance for apartment complex. In college I worked nights doing tax returns and worked as a butcher. These experiences make me pretty handy and help me appreciate what others do for a living. I am a very competitive person and try to exceed expectations when on task. I like to treat people with respect and create a great work environment (we do 4/10 work week) were you can have fun but get the job done and make things happen. My family takes in injured wildlife and runs a small rescue facility.
Q. What's the hardest decision you ever had to make?
A. When I took this office over we had some employees that were grossly overpaid for what they did and had duties that were ridiculous. I had some choices to fire them like most elected officials do, or change their duties and pay to be fair. I choose the latter and my other staff respected these folks again and these employees thanked me over time. Government employees are dedicated people (for the most part) and I enjoy a loyal team that make me proud. I invest in them and move my people up the ladder and bring in new people at the entry level spots. People decision are always the toughest.
Q. Who is your hero?
A. Chuck Norris has always been my hero as he stood up for those that could not. Ted Nugent is another hero I have met a couple times and I respect him for standing up for your rights without loosing your cool.
Q. Think back to a time you failed at something? What did you learn from it?
A. When I lost as Auditor in 2008, that was a big deal and was going to write off politics. How could an Auditor with national recognition for finding government fraud and waste and saving of over $1 million a year loose to an unknown. I calmed down and realized all the republicans lost and got a job the next week and ran for this office in two years and realized I enjoy this more and am even better at this job. As one door closes another one opens. Get back on that horse (done that, we have horses). Don't give up, just try again. I am talking about life now not horses.