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Two candidates for Lafayette County Treasurer

Two people are running for the position as Lafayette County Treasurer. Lisa Black and Jeremiah Kleiber, both of Darlington, have answered questions proposed by the Republican Journal. Here are their answers.

1.     Family information:

2.     What previous experience qualifies you for this position?

3.     What financial problems do you believe are currently facing the county, and how will you work to help solve them?

4.     As treasurer, you will not create financial policy but you will see how county funds are allocated. If you see an opportunity to spend money more efficiently, will you communicate your ideas to the county board or the county’s Finance Department, and if so how?

5.     Why are you running for treasurer?

Lisa Black

1.     My husband Steve and I live in Lamont Township where I was born and raised by my parents, Bill and Sandy McGowan. Steve and I have three children Wade (Nicole), Tyler (Taryn), and Hayden (Kamie). Our children all live and work in and around Lafayette County as well. We also are blessed with a sweet granddaughter Raya.

2.     I have been employed with Lafayette County since June 2010 and am currently the Payroll Administrator for the county. I’ve held several positions within the county system throughout the last 10 years including Purchasing/Schedule and Account Manager at the Manor, Assistant Director of Housing, and Accounting Assistant in the Finance Department. Prior to working for Lafayette County, I have five years experience in the banking industry, seven years as a Flight Attendant and five years as TSA Lead Security Screener at Dane County Airport. These positions have given me a great depth of knowledge of government operations as well as a unique perspective and understanding of what it takes to serve all citizens in a kind, courteous, and respectful manner.

3.     Lafayette County, like all counties, is under budget limits imposed by the state. Therefore, every year brings its challenges for departments to provide as many services to the public while staying within those constraints. The financial impact that the Treasurer’s office has on the county is based on the office budget. By utilizing the programs the County has invested in over the last few years, I aim to be more efficient. For example, with the new Land Records System, Transcendent, there are many ways we can improve upon efficiency within the Treasurer’s Department itself, and I look forward to capitalizing on those opportunities. The county also recently switched to Google Suite. This will enable the sharing of data between departments more efficiently, creating cost and time savings which can be passed on to taxpayers of Lafayette County. By working with other departments and utilizing investments the county has made in technology, my goal is to be as fiscally responsible as possible for the taxpayers of Lafayette County.

4.     Of course! The position of County Treasurer is laid out in the Statutes, and I plan to follow those duties to the best of my ability. However, the Treasurer is in a unique position of not only collecting funds for the whole county, but also seeing how those funds are allocated. I feel all employees, private or public, have a duty to recognize and support all efficient use of funds within any organization. That is what keeps our community strong and prosperous. As Treasurer, I would propose any ideas to the Finance Committee for feasibility, and that committee would then be tasked with proposing cost-savings for taxpayers to the whole County Board. I fully intend to work for all taxpayers, and that includes looking for ways to better utilize funds within the county. Communication with the Finance Department and its committee will be an integral part of my plan to do this.

5.     I want to see our county succeed. My family has lived here for generations, and I want my grandchildren to have the same great experiences within the county that we did. I believe my experience within county administration has given me the capability and confidence to guide the office forward. Along with that knowledge, I feel my past customer service skills suit me perfectly to be Lafayette County Treasurer.

Jeremiah Kleiber

1.     My wife, Ashley (Buisker) Kleiber and I reside just outside of Darlington. My parents, Pat and Jane Kleiber, still live on our home farm southwest of Darlington; and Ashley’s parents, Randall and Renee Buisker, farm outside of South Wayne.  Ashley is a hairstylist by trade and an entrepreneur alongside me.

2.     For more than 20 years I have been invested in business here in Lafayette County. The last 15 years, I have had my wife, Ashley, working alongside me. While we are both involved from the ground up in all we do, there are certain roles in which each of us take on. For me, one of those roles is the finances. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I am very strategic and fiscally responsible. Being a detail orientated individual, balancing bank statements, reviewing tax bills and processing payments is right in line with the financial management duties I have carried for over 20 years in business. The financial duties I manage include: Bank Statement Reconciliation, Cash Flow Management, Capital Budgeting, Payroll, Property Acquisition and Sales, Lease Contract Negotiation, Business Tax Preparation, Estimate and Invoice Writing, Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable, Investment Funds Management, Balance Sheet Statements, and Profit/Loss Statements.

I also served 7 years on the Darlington Community School Board from which I gained experience working with public policy and allocation of public funds.

Our businesses are in varying industries and therefore have provided me with a broad working knowledge of business finance management. While I have not held a formal title in finance, I am confident that my skill set and experience will be of benefit in serving as Lafayette County Treasurer.

3.     As treasurer I do not set financial policy, but I will strive to make sure the Treasurer’s Department is run as efficiently as possible and fully utilize any tools at my disposal. Being cognizant of our use of taxpayer money needs to be kept at the forefront of everyone’s mind in public office. Each year, the finance department works with every department diligently to balance the budget and ensure we are operating within levy limits. I will ensure I complete any and all tasks needed to assist in balancing our operational budget and debt levy.

4.     Absolutely. I expect to be in continuous communication with both the County Board and the Finance Department. If I see an opportunity to save money I will pass the information along to the appropriate departments with a detailed proposal of how to implement such changes. 

5.     I am running for office to use my skill set to better my community and county, serving as the Lafayette County Treasurer. I truly believe I can be an asset to Lafayette County and its citizens by serving in the public sector. I believe my skills and experience can assist in creating efficiencies and better utilizing county time and taxpayers’ money. I am extremely technologically savvy and know that we can utilize programs in the Treasurer's office to create more streamlined and efficient processes.

I thank you for your consideration and would be honored to have your vote on Aug. 11.