County Treasurer Mary Wood Kuhl has announced that she will be seeking a fifth term in office. Having served the county for 15 years, she hopes to continue her successful run and see her recent projects come to fruition.
“I have a great passion for the county, and the constituents who reside within it. I enjoy the challenges of the job, such as when there are sales or property tax issues that need to be researched,” she says.
“We also have some projects in the works that I would like to see finished.”
After 15 years in office, Kuhl believes that she knows the job thoroughly and has the knowledge and understanding to continue to perform it successfully.
“I have a fair amount of experience by now. I’ve been in office for four terms,” she laughs, explaining that she was baptized in fire when she first took office.
Her elected predecessor, Karen Glover, had retired two years before and the deputy had also resigned when Kuhl took office. All records were taken by hand at the time and the only program on computer was for vehicle registration.
“I called Karen and asked if there was any way she could come back and help me out for a while, which she did,” Kuhl says.
With Glover’s help, Kuhl was able to clear out funds that had been sitting in the escrow account and hand-mail every distribution.
“I learned this job from the ground up as far as paperwork and doing distributions by hand. Now, when I’m looking at something on the computer and it doesn’t seem quite right, it’s easy to understand because I know it from the ground up,” she says.
“It’s nice to learn a job from the basics up, rather than just one piece of what’s going on.”
Among Kuhl’s recent achievements, the Treasurer’s Office has been working to implement online tax search and payment programs, which are also attached to the County Assessor’s parcel viewer map. Kuhl recently worked with the County Commissioners to approve a staggered vehicle renewal option, which went into effect on March 1, 2013, and is working towards implementing an online vehicle registration renewal program as a convenient alternative for county residents.
Kuhl is also working with the State Auditor to solve a problem she came across with the state’s methods for depositing funds into the county’s bank account. Often, she says, the state will make an automatic deposit without identifying what the funds are for, leading to a long and difficult search to make sure they are reported correctly for the auditor.
“We’re looking to perhaps produce a manual with some kind of numbering system so that the state and the counties will be uniform in identifying revenues,” she explains.
“It’s going to be one of those projects that happens as we have some time, but it would be nice if it all came together because, if the state identifies that revenue when it comes to us and we can place it according to those numbers, the auditor can also identify what they’re looking for by those numbers and everything will hook up.”
Kuhl’s duties as County Treasurer include collecting property tax and sales tax on vehicles, motor vehicle registration fees and monies from local, state and federal resources.
She is also responsible for maintaining an accurate account of all receipts and expenditures in the fund accounting system and disbursing funds to schools, towns, boards and other entities, projecting revenues for the county budget and reporting to state agencies and the county audit.
“Our annual audit results have been superior,” she says.
Should she be re-elected, Kuhl’s priority will always be the customers who visit the office.
“I’m reliable, dedicated and hopefully provide great customer service – that’s important to me. The girls out front can attest to the fact that I address that from time to time,” she nods.
“I would rather have two people stand up and head to the counter than have a customer wondering if we know that they’re here.”
Kuhl was raised on a ranch near Hulett, graduated from Hulett High School and then attended Sheridan Community College. Her involvement in a debate team on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America, encouraged by her high school government teacher, piqued her interest in government.
Kuhl and her husband, Mike, have two daughters. She has served as president of the Wyoming County Treasurer’s Association for two years, is a past secretary of the Crook County Republican Women, is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post #80 and is past treasurer for the Devils Tower Relay for Life.
“I look forward to serving you for an additional four year term as Crook County Treasurer, “ she concludes.