Column | Kathleen Neel: My 13 years as clerk make me fit to be treasurer
Occupation: 13 years as Summit County Clerk and Recorder; 27 years total in Clerk and Recorder’s Office; 12 years directly overseeing Motor Vehicle
Years in Summit County: 47 years — 1963 to present. I moved out of Summit County a few times but always returned.
Family: Three children, one son in law, three adopted dogs, three brothers and one sister.
Civic Involvement: Former coach for Little Vikings cross country ski program, former coach for Bill Koch cross country ski program for kids; fundraiser and donor for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, member and donor for Together We Rise.
I’m an almost lifelong resident of Summit County. My father, Jerry Ahern, was the Summit County Assessor in the 70s and 80s, and my mother, Rosemary Ahern was the Breckenridge Town Clerk during that time. Our family placed a high importance on public service at an early age. It’s all about the good of the community, not personal recognition.
I have been elected three times as Summit County Clerk and have always been somewhat of a reluctant politician — but an upright front facing symbol of good government.
Priority No. 1
My primary goal is to run a collaborative office and be a public servant who can reach out in a diplomatic and cooperative manner to come up with the best solution. I know that it is not realistic for everyone to get what they want, but a good course of action for the community is always my priority. Information to our citizens can be delivered in a way that explains the situation and helps to point the person on a path to success. Like the Summit County Clerk’s Office, the Summit County Treasurer’s Office is a statutory office. Which means we follow the laws of the State of Colorado. I plan to work in partnership with other county departments and stakeholders in order to give our citizens the services they deserve.
Priority No. 2
Next, I want to continue to run a transparent office. In addition to my other duties, I have over 27 years of experience in governmental accounting and the allocation of taxes. The Clerk and Recorder’s Office takes in almost $1 million a month in fees, while continuing to administer three very different and ever-changing departments. This money is distributed to the taxing entities throughout the county, including the state. The Summit County Clerk’s Office submits the amount of the distribution to the treasurer so it can be dispensed to the taxing entities. The clerk, treasurer and assessor must work closely together. I want everyone in the county to be able to see exactly where their money is allocated and how those distributions are beneficial to the community.
Priority No. 3
Please look at my record and consider the way you feel when you come into the Summit County Clerk’s Office and the level of service you have received. I am a public servant that believes being an elected official is a full time job and that the person should be in the office leading the team. One who is available to the public and accountable for the actions of the office. My greatest accomplishments have come from hard work and determination. I believe my enthusiasm and commitment to excellence makes me a terrific match for this opportunity. My life experiences have equipped me with advantages others may not offer. I will bring this with me to the Summit County Treasurer’s Office.
I am seeking my community’s support and vote on Primary Election Day, June 28. I do not want donations to purchase yard signs and brochures that will only end up in the landfill in a few weeks. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to make it in Summit County and recognize the struggle it takes to live here. You are the ones who matter, and your public officials should be working for what is in your best interest.
Kathleen Neel is the challenging candidate running for Summit County Treasurer for the Democratic Party.
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