Deborah A. Erickson announced her candidacy for Crow Wing County auditor/treasurer.
Erickson has served as Crow Wing County auditor since January 2006, when she was appointed to fill the term of the retiring auditor. She was elected to the position in November 2006.
With the county board's action to combine the auditor and treasurer's offices effective January 2011, this will be the first opportunity to run for the combined office.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to continue serving the residents of Crow Wing County in this new role," Erickson said. "With the combination of the offices of auditor and treasurer, I believe there are a number of cost savings and customer service efficiencies that we can implement to provide a better experience for the taxpayers."
Erickson began her career with Crow Wing County in the assessor's office in 1994 and was hired as the deputy auditor/elections coordinator in 1999 before being appointed to her current position in 2006.
She is certified in property tax calculation by the Minnesota Department of Revenue and has an Elections Administrator certification from the Minnesota Secretary of State.
"I enjoy every aspect of my job; there are so many varied duties from property tax calculation and election administration to budget and finance administration that there are many opportunities to serve the public and be part of the process to deliver better, more efficient government services."
Erickson said that since taking office as auditor she has implemented many cost saving and customer service initiatives while reducing staff and costs.
"Since I first took office in 2006, we have reduced five staff members while still maintaining a high level of customer service," she said.
She pointed to a recent initiative in 2009 that combined the purchasing functions within the auditor's office to make use of existing personnel and review of processes to eliminate redundancies.
Property tax information has been made available online to the public and many processes have been automated, saving budget dollars.
"I've tried to implement ideas and processes that hopefully bring government into the current environment," Erickson said. "I think it's important for government to function as a business and to provide new and fresh ways of providing the necessary services without increasing costs. We need to operate in a way that makes sense given our financial constraints. In many ways, governments are still following guidelines and rules that were written over a hundred years ago. Times have changed and we need to continue to adapt to those changes."
Erickson currently serves as the co-chair of the Elections Committee for the Minnesota Association of County Auditors, Treasurers and Finance Officers. In that capacity she worked with several state legislators during the current legislative session to pass important election reform.
"I take great pride in our elections process here in Crow Wing County," Erickson said. "We have extremely good election judges, and our electorate is well informed and active voters. It's a great process to see."
Erickson is a lifelong Crow Wing County resident, a graduate of Brainerd High School and attended the University of Minnesota - Duluth.
Erickson is a member of the Minnesota Association of County Officers and the Minnesota Government Finance Officers Association. She and her husband, Matt, live in Brainerd with their young son, Sam.
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