The Republican primary for Ozaukee County Treasurer will be on the ballot Aug. 9 with CariAnne Mihalko facing Joshua Morrison.

The treasurer is responsible to receipt and disbursement of county funds along with investing funds not used in daily operations. Incumbent Treasurer Karen Makoutz is not running for re-election.

'I look forward to carrying on the standard of excellence and efficiency set forth by our current treasurer,' said Morrison.

Morrison, 36, lives in Port Washington with his wife of 12 years and his five children. He's new to politics but said he has 'participated in our right to vote in almost every election since turning 18.' He said he has a 'hard work ethic, ambition to succeed, and a desire to impress.'

Mihalko is a 42-year-old lifelong resident of Ozaukee County. She has an associate degree in accounting, graduating with high honors from Moraine Park Technical College in 2013.

Mihalko said her 22 years of accounting and financial management experience would be helpful to the position. She has no previous political experience herself, but has spent the last five years working in the Clerk of Courts office for Ozaukee County, where she prepared the annual department budget, was an oversight for collections, and did financial reporting for the county along with other court-related financial matters.

'I look forward to using my experience and knowledge to continue to work for and serve the citizens of Ozaukee County,' she said.

Both candidates answered questions related to the county and were limited to 50 words or less per question.

How do you plan to keep Ozaukee County up to date with not only software, but with other advances in technology and best practices?

Mihalko: I plan to keep Ozaukee County moving forward by continually reviewing practices for efficiency and utilizing resources, including state and municipal government partners, other organizations such as the Wisconsin County Treasurer's Association and the Wisconsin Counties Association, and by continuing my education through the UW-Green Bay Treasurer's Institute program.

Morrison: I plan on staying updated with technology by continuing to apply these advancements, as they happen, provided the use of them is beneficial to the county's use, the county administration approves it, and that the need is fiscally responsible enough to utilize taxpayer funds.

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What in your experience sets you apart for this role as treasurer?

Mihalko:My extensive accounting and government experience set me apart. I am knowledgeable in statutory compliance, currently have working relationships with the county board and departments and understand the importance of maintaining accurate public records while providing quality service and being fiscally responsible. I believe there are always opportunities for improvement.

Morrison: My experiences are in precision, accuracy, mathematics, and hard work. My greatest challenge will be not having to be to work by 6 a.m. (Ha!). My greatest opportunities are the allowance for personal and professional growth as well as having the ability to work for the public.

How do you propose to keep outstanding taxes low (programs, policies, advice, etc.)?

Mihalko:My collection experience along with current practices will assist in maintaining the low amount of outstanding property taxes. If necessary, and determined to be fiscally responsible, I will explore the use of additional tools such as the State Debt Collection Initiative successfully applied in my current position to increase collections.

Morrison:I will continue to carry on the standard of excellence and efficiency set forth by our current treasurer by following the law and all of its statutes to the letter.

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