2 Republicans vie for treasurer seat

Two candidates for Johnson County treasurer want a more user-friendly website and to improve record keeping.

County Treasurer Diane Edwards faces a challenge by Michele Graves, a controller for Wildlife Rescue and Control, a Greenwood-based business.

Both are Republicans. The successful candidate will advance to the November general election and could face opposition from an independent or Democrat, although no one else has filed for the office yet.

Edwards has served as county treasurer since 2012. The treasurer, who is paid a salary of about $51,000 per year, is in charge of collecting property tax payments.

Edwards and Graves say they are both qualified for the job. A strong background in business and mathematics has allowed Edwards to excel in the role as treasurer, she said.

Both want to update the county’s website to allow payments to be made from a bank account for no charge. Currently, a user fee is added to payments made with a debit or credit card. Both want a better website that is easier for residents to navigate when they pay their real estate and property taxes.

“I want to continue advancing the treasurer’s office to be more aggressive when it comes to keeping up with technology,” Edwards said.

If elected, Graves said she would like to establish protocols that would ensure accurate documentation of interactions with the public. Putting steps in place for employees of the office to follow in handling questions, concerns or complaints from the public is important, Graves said. Documentation would be helpful if an issue was taken to court, Graves said.

She has been a controller at a business owned by her and her husband for 25 years but has always wanted to be involved with the community, she said. Through her work, she has developed the skill set the treasurer job would require, Graves said.

“I’ve always been a high-energy, hardworking person, and I know how to get things done,” Graves said. “Johnson County is near and dear to my heart, and I would like to be remembered as someone who got involved, worked hard and had a positive impact.”

Edwards’ 10 years working for the county clerk and recorder before her time as treasurer allowed her to have a better grasp of the duties of her position, she said. She would like to serve another four years, she said.

“I’m a lifelong resident of this county. We have come a long way, but there is still more to do,” Edwards said. “I’m very proud of this county, and I like being a part of that progress.”

About the job

About the job: The county treasurer receives property tax payments on real estate and personal property.

Term: Four years.

Salary: $50,951

Diane Edwards

Party: Republican

Residence: Franklin

Family: widow, two sons, Brent and Justin Edwards

Education: graduated from Franklin Community High School, attended Purdue

Work: Johnson County treasurer since 2012

Michele Graves

Party: Republican

Residence: Union Township

Family: Married with one son, one daughter

Education: Graduated from Indian Creek High School, attended IUPUI

Work: Controller at Wildlife Rescue and Control

Past political experience: None

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at celliot@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2719.