Money spending at the heart of race for county treasurer

first_imgMike AppelRepublicanOccupation: Purchasing agent for an insulation and exterior finishes distributor, Service Partner Supply.Age: 49Campaign finance: Raised $5,078; spent $3,016.Website: “I will do everything I can to save money.”Doug LasherDemocratOccupation: Clark County treasurerAge: 61Campaign finance: Raised $18,306; spent $8,750.Website: “I have a passion for treasury management.”Challenger Mike Appel started his campaign for Clark County treasurer with a complaint about government spending, and Clark County Treasurer Doug Lasher said he’s had to explain to voters not only what he does as treasurer, but also what he can’t.The treasurer’s office collects property taxes, special assessments, excise taxes, gambling taxes and other miscellaneous receipts from county departments and taxing districts. It also accounts for more than 400 funds and revenues for the state, county, cities, schools, ports, and other agencies, including Clark Public Utilities.It manages the cash, and determines if there are sufficient funds for the issuance of warrants, the equivalent of checks, so those agencies can pay their bills. The office also administers short- and long-term debt financing for the county and taxing districts. The treasurer may be responsible for a lot of money, but he doesn’t get to decide how it gets spent.The treasurer manages an investment pool worth $480 million, has a two-year office budget of approximately $5 million and manages 25 employees.Appel has no financial management experience. In his current job as a purchasing agent, he manages inventory but does not supervise employees.When Appel filed to run against Lasher, he said he was frustrated with government spending and said if he lived in Commissioner Steve Stuart’s district, he would have run for county commissioner.The three county commissioners (Marc Boldt and Tom Mielke will not be up for re-election until 2012) set county policy and prioritize spending. “I’m at an administrative level,” said Lasher, who’s seeking his eighth term.The treasurer earns $93,313 annually, the same as the county auditor, assessor and clerk. Computer purchaseAppel said Friday he doesn’t like the fact the county is spending $7 million for a new computer system for the assessor’s and treasurer’s offices.last_img

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