Two local candidates with decades of business experience are vying for the job of Johnson County treasurer in this fall’s election.
Both say a passion for Johnson County communities are what drives them to pursue the office, which they say they could improve if elected.
The treasurer, who earns a salary of $51,000 per year, is in charge of sending out property tax bills and collecting payments.
Michele Ann Graves, a Republican, and Jessica Hoyt, a Libertarian, are vying for the seat.
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This spring, Graves defeated county treasurer Diane Edwards in her bid for re-election.
“I feel like it’s my duty to step forward, work hard and improve the quality of life for our community,” said Graves, a Morgantown area resident who helps run her family’s business, Wildlife Rescue & Control.
“My goals are to make the treasurer’s office more accessible to the public by making or developing more efficient and user-friendly ways to interact with the treasurer’s office online and make payments online,” she said. “I’d really emphasize customer service … thinking of taxpayers as customers.”
She also said she’d like to make other kinds of tax forms, such as for the food and beverage tax and innkeeper’s tax, more easily found and filed online.
Hoyt, a Greenwood resident, currently serves as vice chairwoman for the Libertarian Party of Johnson County.
“I have a big heart for the community. When this election seat opened up, it was something I (was interested in) because I wanted to get involved for a long time. The treasurer position is something that called out to me because of my background in business.”
Hoyt worked for Marsh Supermarkets in accounting. During her time there, she helped identify company-wide accounting errors that, once addressed, help save not only money, but time, she said.
Both candidates said they’ll work hard to be accountable to taxpayers and strive to make records accurate and timely while working with the public.
“For the last 25 years, I’ve contributed to building a successful business here in Johnson County,” Graves said, nothing that her strongest areas of expertise are in accounting and finance, customer service and dispute resolution.
Name: Michele Ann Graves
Job: controller, Wildlife Rescue & Control
Education: Indian Creek High School, Trafalgar, class of 1981
Family: husband, Mark Wayne Graves; children Megan Marie Graves and Mitchell Wayne Graves
Past political experience: no elected offices held; memberships include Johnson County Republican Women’s Club and the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce
Name: Jessica Hoyt
Job: manager, Meijer store at 150 Marlin Drive, Greenwood
Education: Bethesda Christian High School, class of 1996; Ashford University, bachelor’s degree, 2014
Family: daughters Kimberly and Cassandra
Past political experience: currently serves as vice chairwoman of Libertarian Party of Johnson County
Job: County treasurer
Salary: $51,000 per year
Duties: Send out property tax bills and collecting payments
Term: Four years