Kane County treasurer touts experience; challenger says change needed
Republican David Rickert is touting his 20 years as Kane County treasurer as the main reason he deserves a sixth four-year term in the Nov. 6 election.
Democratic challenger Jason Snelson says his opponent has become complacent and that change is needed.
In meetings with the Daily Herald editorial board, both candidates cited their reasons for running and backgrounds in what some might consider to be the least glamorous countywide elected office on the November ballot.
Rickert, who was first elected in 1998, stresses the importance of experience in serving as the county's banker. He pointed to weathering the Great Recession and said his office provided good service in late 2017, when 7,800 people, compared to the usual 10 to 15, sought to prepay their 2018 property taxes in response to new federal tax laws.
"Every year has been under budget," he said. "We've managed to streamline our office mainly through technology."
Rickert says his financial stewardship helped the county earn $4 million in interest on its investments last year and that his office is in a "constant battle" to protect the county from online financial fraud and hackers.
Snelson argues he brings a fresh perspective to the office and that Rickert's lengthy tenure might have caused some complacency.
Snelson points to his private-sector experience as manager of a regional restaurant group and said it will help him be more dynamic and flexible in the office.
"This is a case for fresh eyes and a fresh direction," he said. "Being out of government and having access to modern business and understanding how things have progressed over the years are a good thing on my end."
Snelson also said Rickert's office needs more transparency and should help make complicated information more digestible.
Rickert said his office upgraded this year to a system that allow people to search, print and pay tax bills on one web portal. He said his office has sent out postcards to remind residents of late tax payments.
"I'm continually trying to improve the office," Rickert said. "I like what I do. I think what I've done is a good job."
Early voting has begun in select locations.
For more information, visit the Kane County Clerk website. The winner on Nov. 6 is sworn into office in December for a 4-year term.