2018 Candidates for County Office

Erin Cox, candidate for County Auditor

Erin Cox

County Auditor (Elected Nov '18)

Occupation: County Auditor’s Office

Goals:

  • Maintain transparency by keeping all internal audits public through the county website
  • Internal checks and balances to guarantee an efficient and effectively running office and county
  • Be a strong resource for other offices, and the public as needed

Qualifications:

My experience with the current administration has given me hands-on experience, and the opportunity to implement new financial software which will make the process even smoother. It is because of my current position and experiences, that I am confident I could make a seamless transition into the County Auditor position.

Candidate Statement:

“I live in Bozeman with my three-year-old daughter and amazing seven-year-old step-son. We love this community and strive to be active and contributing members of this exciting and growing landscape.

“Currently I am working in the County Auditor’s Office, learning the foundational elements of this position. Seeing the coordination of the county offices has given me the insight to what it takes to run an effective and cohesive local government. As elected officials, it is the duty of these officers to uphold fiscal integrity while maintaining accountability and transparency.”

Eric Semerad for Clerk and Recorder

Eric Semerad

County Clerk and Recorder/Surveyor (Elected Nov '18)

Occupation: Recording Department Supervisor – 15 years (28 years with the Clerk and Recorders office)

Goals

  • Continue to improve and modernize county public records storage and access in the office and online.
  • Diligently administer the election process and ensure the right to vote for all eligible citizens.
  • Oversee recording of County Commission actions.
  • Manage vital (birth & death) record issuance.

Qualifications

  • Recording Department Supervisor – 15 years
  • Chief Deputy Clerk – 10 years
  • Bachelor of Science from Montana State University
  • Modernized Clerk & Recorder records and put them online
  • Responsibly manage department budget and one of the largest revenue sources in the county

Candidate Statement

“I work with integrity and dedication to develop lasting relationships with county and private sector customers. I have the most in-depth knowledge and experience it takes to hold this office. I am the most qualified candidate for Clerk and Recorder/Surveyor.”

Scott MacFarlane, Candidate for County Commission

Scott MacFarlane

County Commissioner (Elected Nov '18)

Occupation

Belgrade Public School’s Facilities Director; Gallatin County Capital Improvement Program Advisory Board; Volunteer youth track and cross country coach with Monforton School and the Bozeman Track Club.

Goals

  • The Gallatin County Commission needs to do more to recruit and retain valuable public safety employees
  • Updating and expanding the county’s law and justice facility is a top priority. The safe, efficient and effective operation of the courts and sheriff’s office is not possible at the current facility.
  • Affordable housing to support the region’s workforce

Qualifications

  • Manage multi-million dollar school construction projects and all district facilities personnel and funding as Belgrade Public Schools Facilities Director

Candidate Statement

“Gallatin County has recently found itself on the world stage as a top destination to live, learn, invest, start up, or relocate a business. Long term residents have come to understand this growth is a permanent reality, and know it will only speed up.

“Gallatin County has a small army of dedicated people looking out for our communities and environment with five incorporated municipalities, multiple unincorporated communities, and additional leadership groups such as school boards, water boards, fire boards, lands boards, and irrigation boards.  I witness the accelerating growth in Gallatin County cause strain among the numerous management groups in our area. These organizations each have their own responsibilities to plan for our future, and all these plans risk failure without respectful collaboration, communication, and partnership.

“Serving at-large, the County Commissioners represent EVERYONE in our County. I am resolved the County Commission holds the greatest responsibility in the success of these partnerships.

“Gallatin County is made up of hard working citizens with brilliant minds.  When we work together, there is no problem too large to tackle. I will be a Commissioner who collaborates and builds partnerships. I am completely dedicated to the success of our future. Together we can ensure Gallatin County plans its future responsibly in a way that benefits everyone.”

Jennifer Blossom for County Treasurer

Jennifer Blossom

County Treasurer (Elected Nov '18); County Auditor (current)

Occupation:

County Auditor, Gallatin County

Goals:

  • Improve the efficiency, transparency and accuracy of process within the Treasurer’s Office – including the investment of tax dollars.

Qualifications:

  • 15 years auditing the Gallatin County Treasurer’s Office

Candidate Statement:

“If you pay property taxes in Gallatin County, or have ever had to register your vehicle or renew your registration, you’ve been directly affected by the Treasurer’s Office, which is responsible for the timely and accurate billing and handling of tax dollars, the efficient distribution of collected taxes to the various schools and agencies, the transparent investment of money and the management of the motor vehicle department.

“Every day for more than 13 years I have watched as people have waited to register their vehicles – a wait that can last up to four hours or more.  Some of these people are losing wages. Some of them have families they want to get home to. Some of them have places they need to be. Not one of them should be required to sit in a lobby and wait for such an unreasonable amount of time.  I believe it’s time that the Treasurer’s Office recognizes, respects and honors that.

“An elected official shouldn’t have to be pushed to make positive changes. They need to be willing to take a step back, listen to those around them and make improvements where necessary. That was the reason I ran for Auditor in 2003 and why I am running for Treasurer now.”

More information:
http://www.belgrade-news.com/news/county/county-auditor-to-challenge-county-treasurer/article_b16019ba-06e3-11e8-898f-d34a49bc2a06.html