Two vie for seat in first contested race in 12 years
Date posted: July 30, 2014
SHERIDAN — In a nod to small town government, the two candidates running for county treasurer in the upcoming primary election are fellow Rotarians and hunting and fishing buddies. But incumbent Treasurer Pete Carroll and candidate Scott Hininger said running against each other for political office won’t affect their friendship.
Each candidate offers different skills, leadership styles and goals, with Carroll calling on his 12 years of experience in the role of county treasurer and Hininger calling on his fresh, hands-on approach he would hope to bring to the position.
County treasurer is one of seven elected positions in county government, not including the five county commissioners or three judges retained in office. The position primarily deals with property tax and vehicle sales tax collection, distribution of funds to school districts and county entities, issuance of license plates and investment of county funds, among other duties.
Carroll has served as treasurer for nearly 12 years, and this is his first time since being elected that he has had an opponent for the seat. He said his employees in the office asked him to run again and added that he chose to do so because he enjoys going to work every morning.
Carroll cited his cross-trained staff who can each provide excellent customer service as his main accomplishment in his tenure. He also said he has made several improvements while in office including acceptance of credit cards beginning in 2006, adding the ability to pay property taxes online in 2007 and vehicle registration renewals in 2012, and, just this year, enabling residents to receive tax statements online.
“It’s just keeping up with the times,” Carroll said. “I think there’s only one other county that’s as far along as we are as far as e-notices online and such, so we’re out there leading the pack, so to speak.”
As for his qualifications, Carroll said he has an accounting degree from the University of Wyoming, 23 years experience at First Federal Savings Bank and work as an insurance agent for five years.
“All three of those, I think, go together to provide me with the expertise to run the office. As I say, the education is maybe secondary to just working with people and trying to provide the best service we possibly can,” Carroll said.
Hininger said he’s been thinking about running for political office for a couple years and that he felt county treasurer best matched his skills. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education and a master’s degree in agriculture economics.
Hininger has worked with university extension services for 32 years, including the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service in Sheridan County for 27 years. For five years in Oklahoma, he was an area farm management specialist, and his task was to work with banks in five counties to try to save farms from going bankrupt.
Hininger also cited his 12 years on the Sheridan County School District 2 board of trustees and his years on the Holy Name Catholic School board and finance committee as valuable financial and managerial experience.
While Hininger has enjoyed his work with the extension service, he said his training and passion is finance, and he is hoping to make a career change in that direction with his run for county treasurer.
“One of the differences I would bring to the office is I’m a hands-on manager. I like to be involved. I want to be involved,” Hininger said.
For instance, he said he would work the front desk to help exemplify excellent customer service.
Hininger also said he would work to make processes more efficient with additional services online, and that he values financial accountability and transparency. He said if he was elected, he would institute a yearly report on programs, audits and the county’s financial status.
• B.S. in accounting from the University of Wyoming
• Distinguished Graduate of the University of Georgia School of Executive Development
• U.S. Naval aviator with two tours of duty in southeast Asia
• First Federal Savings Bank – 23 years, including service as president and board member
• Carroll Insurance for five years
• Public service in Rotary, Red Cross board, Sheridan WYO Rodeo board, Big Horn Home Builders, Wyoming League of Savings Institutions, Uptown Sheridan Association (now DSA), Cowboy Joe Club, Sheridan Athletic Association, Sheridan Planning Commission, Pheasants Forever, Presbyterian church, American Legion, and more.
• Bachelor’s in agriculture education from Oklahoma State University
• Master’s degree in agriculture economics from Oklahoma State University
• 27 years with University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service in Sheridan County
• Five years with university extension in Oklahoma helping farmers save their farm from bankruptcy
• 12 years on Sheridan County School District 2 board of trustees
• Four years on Holy Name Catholic School board of trustees
• Service on Holy Name Catholic School finance committee
• Service on a variety of boards
What does the treasurer do?
The County Treasurer and his or her staff:
• Collect property tax payments
• Balance the tax role
• Mail tax notices
• Collect back taxes
• Distribute collected funds to school districts and county entities
• Hold a yearly tax sale
• Issue license plates, temporary permits and mobile machinery stickers
• Collect sales tax on vehicles and verify insurance
• Remit collected vehicle funds to the Wyoming Department of Revenue
• Distribute vehicle funds to school districts and county entities
• Maintain automobile records
• Invest county funds
• Maintain daily records of all moneys collected
• Prepare a budget each year