Michelle Gurciullo and Lorie Koertner are running for Lincoln County Treasurer, in a race that will be decided on Primary Election Day, May 15.

Sue Fleck is currently the county treasurer. She is not running for re-election. Both candidates are Republicans. One of them will be eliminated in the upcoming election.

In anticipation of the May 15 primary election, we asked the two candidates for their backgrounds and comments on important issues.

Here is what they said:

 

LORIE KOERTNER, North Platte. Office administrator for a distributorship

Background/qualifications

As Webster County Treasurer Clerk for 19 years, I was responsible for waiting the counter with all Department of Motor Vehicle and Real Estate tax collections, along with the final steps of the issuance of Drivers Licenses.

For 7 of those years, I held the title of the Deputy Treasurer, which allowed me experience working with Tax Corrections, Dispersal of money to all entities, filling out all state

reports and the monthly payments going to them.

The final 5 years while in Webster County, I had the privilege of being the Webster County

Treasurer. Being treasurer, along with all of the above duties, I also was responsible for working with the levies, budgets, with “in lieu of taxes”, irrigation taxes and businesses involved in TIF programs, plus many more duties that come along with being Treasurer.

If elected, what would you like to see happen?

Customer service is very important to me and I would like to see it brought back to the areas currently lacking in it. People don’t like paying taxes of any kind and I feel it is of the utmost importance to show them the respect you would like in return.

One of the biggest political issues at this time is high property taxes. Do you have some ideas on how it could be addressed?

I think it is important for people to remember — the County Treasurer’s office merely collects the taxes.

Property taxes are based on the assessed valuation, which has to be within the state guidelines of which they deem reasonable multiplied by the levies created by all of the entities needing to satisfy their respective budgets.

That being said, I think the only way to address this issue is for all entities receiving payment from those property taxes to simply watch their spending to try to stay within the budget allocated to them.

Other issues?

The security issue seems to be a huge discussion going on at the moment. Although I am not sure what my resolution to this problem would be, I am not sure I totally agree with everything being done.

I have been approached by quite a few people that have expressed concern over the window at the DMV not allowing them to hear the clerks. I’m not saying it needs to be taken down, but communication is key in that department. I feel a resolution to this issue would need addressed in a timely manner.

 

MICHELLE GURCIULLO, 51, North Platte. Supervisor, Lincoln County Department of Motor Vehicles

I have worked for Lincoln County since September 1994. I became the supervisor of the motor vehicle department in July 2010. I have also trained in the treasurer’s real estate office during my 24 years working for Lincoln County.

If elected, what would you like to see happen in the treasurer’s office during your tenure?

During my tenure, I would like to see some improvements in communication and training between the motor vehicle and real estate offices. Also, staffing the office with friendly and qualified individuals will be very important while in office.

Property taxes seem to be an issue at both the state and local level; however, they are set by individual entities. The Lincoln County Treasurers’ office collects these taxes and distributes them accordingly.

Other issues:

Implementation of a new motor vehicle computer system. Hopefully, the new system will simplify some of the procedures that are done, so the wait time will be reduced. I will also do my best to be a good steward of the taxpayer’s money within my office.

Other civic activities

Secretary and volunteer Maxwell Booster Club, member and volunteer with First Baptist Church of Maxwell; member Hill Valley Extension Club; volunteer for Maxwell Heritage Days.

Family

Spouse: Terry Gurciullo, Jr.; three daughters and one son.