David J. Rickert: Candidate Profile
Name: David J. Rickert
City: I was raised in Carpentersville and graduated from Dundee Crown. For the past 25 years, I have resided with my family in Elgin.
Office sought: Kane County Treasurer
Family: Wife, Dianna, and three children
Occupation: 20 years as a Licensed Certified Public Accountant
Education: Roosevelt University, Master of Science - Accounting
Northern Illinois University, Bachelor of Science - Finance
Elgin Community College, Associate of Science - Accounting
Civic involvement: Served in the United States Army
Served in the United States Army Reserve
Member American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
Member of the Government Finance Officers Association
Member Illinois County Treasurer's Association
Member Illinois CPA Society
Elected offices held: Kane County Treasurer
Questions & Answers
Question 1: Kane County Board members have suggested during the 2019 budget process that officials with special revenue or automation funds in their offices should contribute some or more of those funds back to the general fund to account for shared costs like building maintenance and operations. Would you support using more of the Treasurer's funds for such expenses?
Last year, the Treasurer's Office contributed $1,621,000 to the county general fund from operations. This was $1,070,400 over the cost of operating the Treasurer's Office. This contribution does not include the interest revenue earned by the Treasurer for the General Fund. Office capital expenditures are paid for by the office automation fund. Depleting this fund would mean critical equipment could not be repaired or replaced when necessary.
Question 2: Would you support combining the offices of the county treasurer and county auditor? Would combining those offices reduce expenses?
The auditor is responsible for performing internal audits and independently reviewing internal controls over assets. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) do not permit me to audit myself.
Question 3: If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
Under my leadership, the Treasurer's Office has:
• Provided online tax information that includes online payment options
• Allowed for debit and credit card payments within the office
• Set up a property tax drop box so customers can drop off payments 24/7
• Posted property tax due date reminders in local newspapers in an effort to reduce late payments
• Implemented a lock box system to process incoming mail, thereby enabling mailed payments to be posted the same day they are received
My financial background provides me the expertise necessary to invest in various securities allowed by the Public Funds Investment Act. This year, my office is projected to earn approximately four million dollars in interest for Kane County.
All this was accomplished while remaining under budget.
Question 4: How do you assess the success of the treasurer's office on what you see as its chief duties? Do you see areas of the operation in need of improvement?
Last year, the Kane County Board hired an efficiency expert to evaluate the operations of the county offices. My office was rated the most efficient within its category. In addition, my office operates within budget. As Treasurer, I regularly meet with staff, other officials, and various organizations, in an effort to continually improve my office.
Question 5: Describe your position on transparency in the office and the ease of access to records by the public. How effective is the office's website and other outreach efforts in helping the public interact with the office and understand their government? If you believe improvements are needed, what are they and how would you go about achieving them?
The Kane County Treasurer maintains a website with property tax information, office functions, unclaimed funds, and an online checkbook. This year so far, there have been 825,000 sessions on the site. This spring, the Treasurer, in cooperation with the Supervisor of Assessments and the Kane County Clerk, has initiated a unified tax information website called E-wedge. This site provides current property tax information in addition to many other features. The Web address is kaneil.devnetwedge.com.