Douglas County Treasurer Paula Gilchrist has filed the paperwork to seek a third term in the November general election.
Gilchrist, a Lawrence Democrat, said Wednesday she wants another four-year term in order to complete work on several projects her office has begun. Specifically, Gilchrist said she wants to be part of a countywide effort to improve the financial software used by various departments of county government.
“The county definitely needs a better countywide financial system,” Gilchrist said “That will require a lot of coordination. It is a big project that I would like to see through.”
Gilchrist said the current system doesn’t allow county departments to easily share financial reports and other data that would be useful, especially to the treasurer’s office.
Among Gilchrist’s responsibilities is to invest the county’s “idle funds,” but she said that task is difficult because her office often does not know how many outstanding bills the county has until just a few days prior to the checks being written.
Gilchrist’s office also is responsible for collecting motor vehicle taxes and renewing motor vehicle registrations. She said a new computer system installed by the state has created significant problems for the renewal process, but she is optimistic the state and local treasurers offices are getting the bugs worked out of the program.
“Right now, we just hold our breath every morning and hope the system works,” said Gilchrist. “But I think there are some exciting things coming with the new system.”
For example, Gilchrist said, the new system eventually should eliminate the need for vehicle owners to bring in proof of insurance before renewing a tag.
Gilchrist, 61, was first elected treasurer in 2004. Prior to the position, she worked in non-profit management, and was an aide to U.S. Congressman Jim Slattery.
Currently, Gilchrist does not have an opponent in the general election. Candidates for all county positions have until noon on Friday to file. The general election will be Nov. 6. A primary election, if needed, will be on Aug. 7.