Two women are seeking the Presque Isle County treasurer's position on the November ballot.
Rogers City residents Bridget LaLonde and Valerie Sue Peacock are running for county treasurer, LaLonde as a Republican and Peacock as a Democrat. Both have accounting experience they would use during the four-year term.
Both are county natives and are involved in their community. Peacock is treasurer for the Presque Isle County Democratic Party, and she has been coaching high school volleyball for more than two decades, she said. LaLonde is a Rogers City Optimists Club member, and serves on Rogers City's Community Development Authority. She also served on the county development commission before her position was combined into another.
LaLonde is running out of a wish to serve her commmunity, and believes her experience makes her uniquely qualified. She has a bachelor's degree in business leadership and an associate degree in accounting. As an employee at Moran Iron Works she contributed to financial reviews, analyses and strategic planning. Currently, she does administrative and accounting tasks for Wolverine Power Cooperative.
"I believe the county treasurer's job is a leadership position, and when you combine my degree as well as my work experiences, which focused on critical leadership and management responsibilities, it makes me qualified," she said.
While LaLonde has job-shadowed Alpena and Cheboygan county treasurers, her primary goal would be to learn how to perform the treasurer's duties if elected, she said. She also wants to continue Presque Isle County's good record of maintaining a balanced budget.
"On a personal note, I have a tenacity that drives me to learn, and a commitment that drives me to work," she said. "I like being an advocate for those around me, and those in the community."
Peacock has worked for the county for 27 years, including four in the treasurer's office where she is currently the chief deputy treasurer, she said. After the recent turnover in the treasurer's office, she believes she can provide a smooth transition.
"I have working knowledge of state statutes that outline the functions of this department including the tax collection and foreclosure process," she said, adding she'll be "well prepared to take on the duties of the county treasurer if I am elected to the position."
After earning her associate degree in accounting, Peacock worked for a certified public accountant in Rogers City, and later an Alpena construction company, she said.
In Presque Isle County, the treasurer is not a "figurehead" job, Peacock said, and she's prepared to commit herself to the job.
"We're not a large office, and there is a lot of work that has to be done here," she said. "I have the experience to do the daily work, so I would be able to continue to assist the rest of the staff in the daily functions."
Both candidates said they should be able to get a surety bond. It's a state requirement that recently forced county commissioners to remove someone they'd appointed as treasurer.
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.