ELECTION 2016: Incumbent, newcomer face off in treasurer’s race
An insurance agent from Proctorville hopes to unseat a three-term incumbent in the race for Lawrence County treasurer.
Katrina Hunt, who is an insurance agent at United Security Agency and has a background in financial planning, said her work in those fields makes her a prime candidate for county treasurer.
“I have been entrusted with the well being of the public for years,” Hunt said. “People trust me to protect them in times of need. I work in a collection-oriented office and I always have the people’s interest at heart. I will uphold the honor and trust of the people of Lawrence County.”
The Fairland High School graduate said she was running for office to give voters an option, since her opponent, Democrat Stephen Dale Burcham, was previously unopposed.
“I want to make a difference in Lawrence County and I feel as if people should have a choice and no office should run unopposed,” Hunt said, “The treasurer’s office fits my background and I have the qualifications.”
Hunt, 48, is running as an independent candidate, one of only two in Lawrence County. The other independent candidate is Jonathan Ater, who is running for county commissioner.
“We don’t answer to a political party or its agenda,” she said. “I can put the views and ideas of the people to work, not the wishes of a political party. A vote for an independent is a real vote for change…. Vote with your heart and a thought about the integrity of the candidate and also the young people in mind who are the adults of tomorrow. They need good jobs at good pay. I look forward to working for the people of Lawrence County and the elected officials that they put in office.”
Hunt said her goal if elected would be “to help people be able to pay the taxes without going without their other needs. I will also make ways to invest county funds in a safe investment with high yields.”
Burcham is a certified public accountant who is running for his fourth term as treasurer. He cited his previous accomplishments in the office as a reason why voters should reelect him.
One of those accomplishments, he said, was establishing a way for county residents to pay their taxes at local banks or online.
“When I took office the only thing you could do was pay at the counter at the treasure’s office,” Burcham said.
Burcham also cited the reduction in the county’s delinquent taxes, from $14 million when he took office, now down to $4 million, he said.
“We are just asking people to do the same thing their neighbor is doing, by paying their taxes,” Burcham said, noting that 70 percent of property taxes go to the schools. “I want to be able to provide the greatest and best education to our children we can provide.”
Burcham also secured a $4.325 million grant for the county’s recently established land bank. He said that’s another reason he continues to pursue the office of treasurer.
“I can see a great deal we’d like to accomplish through the treasurer’s office, particularly with the land bank coming into existence,” Burcham said.
The grant will go toward to the demolition of abandoned and dilapidated structures across the county.
The land bank will also have a provision in place to rehabilitate houses that in a certain condition, plant greenery and rebuild on lots left vacant by demolition.
“The land bank, I think it’s going to have a tremendous impact, all the way from Hanging Rock to Athalia,” he said.
Burcham said he has been honored to serve as treasurer for the past 12 years.
“Not a days goes by that I don’t consider what can we do better for our community and county,” he said. “I’m always thinking about how we can do things to better our economy and have a positive impact on our county.”