QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES

Island County Auditor
QUeSTiON
Some costly mistakes occurred in the preparation of the last primary voter’s guide. What would you do to keep these kinds of things from happening in the future?

Sheilah Crider
I took immediate corrective action, implementing policy changes preventing future occurrences. We require final proof from publishers before printing. My staff and I are constantly evaluating ways of improving systems, being fiscally responsible and evaluating cost-saving measures and options. 2008 results posted early. Feb. 19 and Aug. 19 results posted online about 8:30 p.m. Auditors cannot tabulate election results until polls close at 8 p.m. Results must be tabulated, verified and submitted to the secretary of state before we post.

Jim Palmer
I prepare written reports for courts, banks and the IRS, and understand that proofreading is critical. An integral component of good management includes ensuring that the skills of the employee match the assignment, and I will provide appropriate supervision.

Results haven’t been posted online in a timely fashion on election night. What would you do to expedite that situation?

When an announcement is given regarding the posting of current results, it is imperative that the schedule be attained. Not only is this a customerservice issue, but a key component of the public trust.

The previous auditor was sometimes criticized for spending too much time out of the office at conferences. How important is it for you to serve in professional associations that would require your absence from county government? The state auditor has pushed the county to finalize a contract with the Island County Fair Association regarding the fair. Many months have passed. What would you do to expedite the situation? Why are you better than your opponent for the job?

Professional organizations have significant value to elected officials. Education and training are benefits of membership. Costs are reduced for members. My office staff is very capable in my absence, but I intend on being a working auditor in my office.

As auditor, I will attend conferences essential to the function of the office. I do not anticipate the necessity to regularly attend professional association conferences. My number-one professional priority will be to the office of Island County auditor.

The contract outlining the responsibilities must be negotiated between the board of county commissioners and Island County Fair Board. The auditor cannot negotiate this contract. I am prepared to participate and assist as needed to reach resolution of this issue.

Since I am not the current auditor, I am only aware of the situation through what has been presented in the media and do not know why this has not been resolved. I will avoid delaying important issues.

Experience, experience, experience. I have actual hands-on, current experience as auditor. Experience conducting elections, developing budgets, facilitating daily operations, conducting our department in an open, transparent manner, being accessible. Reaching across party lines, I’ve established bipartisan coalitions with fellow elected officials.

I am skilled in management, planning, customer service and financial statements, having owned businesses for 25 years, including the Freeland and Oak Harbor RadioShacks and currently as a certified business appraiser. I also teach these skills parttime for Skagit Valley College.

SOUTH WHIDBEY RECORD www.southwhidbeyrecord.com

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