County looking for treasurer candidates

ELLSWORTH — If you’re a professional bookkeeper tired of working long days during tax season, the Hancock County Commissioners want to talk to you.

Commissioner Bill Clark said Tuesday that there aren’t candidates from either of the two major parties running for the office of county treasurer. Election Day is Nov. 6.

Current Treasurer Janice Eldridge is retiring from county government.

Write-in candidates need to inform the Maine Secretary of State’s Office of their intention to be a write-in candidate within 60 days of the general election in November. Write-in candidates only need one vote, Clark said.

“It’s a simple process if no independents file and that field is still wide open,” he said.

“We’re getting the word out that we’re looking for a strong financial person to become treasurer,” Clark said. “They have the opportunity to do that without having to campaign.”

Another perk is a flexible schedule.

Elected officials are responsible for getting the job done — not working a set schedule or number of hours.

“You have a lot of flexibility in when you work and what not,” the commissioner said. “It’s a great job if you’ve got kids in school.”

Also, Clark noted, traditionally busy times at accounting firms, the first three months of the year, are the slowest times for county government. There wouldn’t be a problem taking off February and April school breaks for vacations.

The only requirement to run for the office of county treasurer is that the candidate be a resident of that county.

Therein lies much of the problem.

“Finance today in county government is not something you can dilly dally in,” Clark said. “The days of just being able to accept revenues and pay bills is gone. You’re talking millions and millions of dollars. You need someone making good strong financial decisions.

“We haven’t had that level in an elected capacity since Sally Crowley.”

Crowley was treasurer from 2002 until her death from breast cancer in 2008.

Clark would like the county to change the position of treasurer from elected to appointed.

County Administrator Scott Adkins has drafted an outline of what the job entails.

“We’d meet with them and negotiate a salary, even before they made a decision,” Clark said. “I really think somebody is out there if we can just get the word out.”

According to the Maine Secretary of State’s Candidate Guide: a “write-in candidate” is a person:

  • Whose name is not printed on the ballot.
  • Who otherwise fulfills the qualifications for the office designated.
  • Who receives one or more valid write-in votes for an office listed on a primary, general or special election ballot.
  • Who has filed a “Declaration of Write-in Candidacy” no later than 60 days prior to the election, which was April 13, 2018, for the primary election and is Sept. 7, 2018, for the general election.
Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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