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Archive for Saturday, May 8, 2004

Deputy to seek treasurer’s seat

May 8, 2004

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The No. 2 official in the Douglas County Treasurer's Office wants to move up to No. 1.

Cindy Monshizadeh, interim deputy treasurer, announced Friday that she would run for treasurer.

The Republican says she wants to serve the county's 100,000 taxpayers by providing public education, speedier transactions and additional payment options.

Monshizadeh, 47, is counting on her experience making a difference with voters. She has worked in the treasurer's office since 1991, when she started as a tax clerk.

She worked her way up to bookkeeper and has been interim deputy treasurer since early last year.

"I've taken it from hand ledgers to a computer system," Monshizadeh said. "I'm very well versed in the county's accounting system: how much money there is, which fund it's in and how it's invested. ...

"Because I already have this knowledge, the learning curve would be nearly nonexistent."

Monshizadeh is the second announced candidate seeking to replace Pat Wells, who is not running for re-election. Already in the race is Sharon Englebrecht, a Republican who previously served as Wells' deputy and now works as a safe deposit attendant for US Bank in Lawrence.

A primary will be conducted Aug. 3. The filing deadline for candidates is noon June 10.

The new treasurer will take office in October 2005, overseeing 20 employees and an annual operating budget of $376,000. The office is responsible for collecting taxes, issuing license plates for vehicles and investing county funds.

Among Monshizadeh's goals: add two employees to the office, to help speed transactions at satellite locations; increase options for paying taxes with credit and debit cards; and strive to educate the public about existing online payment methods and shifting tax deadlines.

"I just want to open that communication," she said.

Monshizadeh entered the financial field 24 years ago. From 1980 to 1989, she worked as a teller, bookkeeper and internal auditor at Lawrence National Bank.

Monshizadeh and her husband, Fee, also have owned area businesses in the past, including two restaurants: The Greenery in Lawrence, and Annabelle's in Eudora.

The Monshizadehs live in Lawrence and have two children: Andrew, a freshman at Kansas University, and Peter, an eighth-grader at South Junior High School.

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