As a retired Lewis County treasurer, I feel strongly about the office and the importance it holds. Treasurers not only handle budget and financing (including bond borrowing), they also are responsible for delinquent tax collection and sale of delinquent properties; payroll (both hospital and county employees) including all the required duties and reports required; control over health insurance plans; oversight of state and federal grants; and financial reporting to the County Board, state and federal government. In handling these responsibilities, there needs to be a strong communication and respect between the treasurer, board, county manager and individual departments.
It is imperative that we elect a strong financial person and administrator to be responsible and look out for our fiscal needs.
I have read about the qualifications of each of the candidates. And without a doubt, Eric Virkler is the most qualified for the position. Please take the time to educate yourself on the candidates and their qualifications before voting; the future of the treasurer’s office depends on your vote.
Eric graduated from Lowville Academy and Central School and Syracuse University with a bachelor of science in accounting. He worked for Coopers & Lybrand, a large public accounting firm, as a certified public accountant; has served as chief financial officer at Lewis County General Hospital for six years, where he was responsible for the hospital budget, federal and state reporting; and managed four departments and had a staff of 30 employees. He served as clerk/treasurer and administrator for the village of Lowville for four years and was responsible for budget and state reporting. Eric was licensed in life and health insurance sales and investment sales while working for Northwestern Mutual and Stephen Foy Insurance Foy Agency from 2003 to 2005.
Eric was director of Lewis County Economic Development and Planning for six years and serves as director of Lewis County Industrial Development Agency. He has worked in the county and for the county most of his adult life. He is involved in the community along with his wife, Heidi. Eric has all the qualifications that would make a responsible, sound county treasurer.
I personally worked with Eric when I was county treasurer and found him easy to work with and extremely knowledgeable. Please vote Eric Virkler for Lewis County treasurer on Nov. 5, Election Day.
The writer is a retired Lewis County treasurer.