News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Election 2012

May 3, 2012

Vigo County Treasurer - Democrat

TERRE HAUTE — The race for the Democrat nomination for treasurer of Vigo County pits a former county auditor against a current Terre Haute City Councilman.

There are no Republican candidates in the May 8 Primary Election.

James W. Bramble served as county auditor for nine years, from 2000 to 2008. He was appointed by party caucus in 2000 to complete the last year of former auditor Judy Anderson, who was elected Terre Haute mayor. Bramble then won two elected four-year terms.

Don W. Morris was first elected in 2007 and began serving on the Terre Haute City Council in 2008. He was re-elected last year to a second four-year term. He started that second term in January.

“The treasurer is an accounting job,” Bramble said. “I think it is a perfect fit for me. I have experience with the state Board of Accounts and nine years as auditor and years operating my own business.”

Morris said the City Council is part-time. “I was looking for a full-time commitment. I want to continue the strong support staff in the [treasurer’s] office and open more communication with fellow office holders and the community,” Morris said.

Bramble said the county treasurer’s office has “done a good job of recovering from a few years ago, when taxes were late and collected late. I plan on continuing that and getting things out on time.

“I would like to continue to modernize the office as far as computerizing it and keeping up with the latest technologies, which will keep billings and collections on time,” Bramble said.

Bramble, to help secure deposits, would like to end the practice of hand-delivering them to financial institutions. He would like to explore having a security company pick up deposits, particularly during tax time, to increase control and security of county funds, he said.

Bramble said the treasurer has an important function of investing funds to earn interest for the county. “The way markets are, the best investment today might not be the same as tomorrow, so you got to constantly keep reviewing where the investments are and adapt to changing markets,” he said.

The types of investments for counties are restricted by state law, Bramble said, “for good reason. You have to look for investments with little risk involved,” he said.

Morris said there are state “advisers in place for investments. It goes back to communication and making the right decisions, plus being frugal and conservative, but yet looking at options and making the right decisions.”

Morris said technology in the office is important. “The more efficient we can be online and communicate and educate is invaluable. It is quicker. But also, we have a lot of people who don’t have that access” to computers and the Web.

“You have to be accessible,” Morris said. “During the tax season, which they already do now, you extend the office hours” to allow taxpayers more opportunities to pay spring and fall taxes, he said.

Morris said the job of the treasurer is “being in total support of the staff and making sure the communication lines are accessible both ways and working directly with the county offices.”

Howard Greninger can reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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