Treasurer candidates trump better service
Both of Douglas County's candidates for treasurer have ideas about providing better service to customers, but Paula Gilchrist and Cindy Monshizadeh have different ways they'd get that done. The women are vying Tuesday for the position currently held by Douglas County Treasurer Pat Wells, who is not seeking re-election.
Monshizadeh, a Republican who has been with the Douglas County Treasurer's Office since 1991, said she was pushing for adequate staffing at the office, including the satellite stations.
"Adequate staffing at the ones we've got will help," she said.
Her opponent, Paula Gilchrist, social service director with the Salvation Army in Lawrence and a Democrat, said she was campaigning for better hours and a little more more convenience, especially for those in rural Douglas County and those not accommodated by the 8 a.m.-to-5 p.m., Monday-through-Friday schedule the treasurer's office maintains.
However, Gilchrist said that unlike Monshizadeh she was not in favor of adding more employees.
"It's not the time to add more costs to county government," she said. "It's time to get more creative and work harder and smarter with the resources available."
Monshizadeh said another of her goals was to communicate better with Douglas County residents about due dates and any changes therein, and "being more in the public than just when they pay their taxes."
Gilchrest said stories of poor customer service motivated her to run.
"I think government is there to serve people, not to put road blocks in their way," Gilchrist said.
Whereas Monshizadeh touts her years of experience in the treasurer's office, Gilchrist said her experience had been with advocacy.
"I've been an advocate for a long time for different populations," she said.