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BCE Calhoun County Treasurer

The County Treasurer is an elected official with a four-year term as provided by the Michigan Constitution. The Treasurer is the custodian of county monies, collections of all county revenue and the agent for the delinquent tax revolving funds, and the foreclosing governmental unit for Calhoun County.

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  • Candidate picture

    Christine Schauer
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Brian Wensauer
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

What makes you more qualified than other candidates for this office?

What are three top issues facing this office that you want to address if elected? State your position in the first sentence, then explain your response.

What role do you think the county treasurer’s office should play in preventing and decreasing the number of property tax foreclosures?

How do you think the treasurer’s office should work with the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority?

Do you believe the office is run as efficiently as possible and if not, what would you do to improve? State your position in the first sentence, then explain your response.

Professional Experience I was elected as Calhoun County Treasurer in 2012 and began serving in 2013. My professional background includes serving in a number of administrative leadership positions in the nonprofit and public sectors, including Area Agency on Aging Region 3, YWCA of Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University Kendall Center, and One Economy. I served as Calhoun County Senior Services Manager from 2005 to 2007. Previously, I worked in the private sector for John Hancock Financial and Parkstone Mutual Funds, selling and servicing investment products. I started my own small business in 2008, opening My Style . . . Your Style, a women’s clothing store selling new and consignment merchandise which I sold to a new owner in 2013 in order to devote my time to the duties of County Treasurer. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Office Administration and Management from Northern Michigan University and a Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. I am a Certified Public Funds Investment Manager.
Political Experience I was elected as Calhoun County Treasurer in 2012 and have served as a Precinct Delegate.
Family I am married to Former Congressman Mark Schauer. I have three grown children and five grandchildren.
As Calhoun County Treasurer, I am experienced and lead all statutory and related functions of my office including: 1) collection of delinquent property taxes and administering the forfeiture/foreclosure process prescribed in the Michigan General Property Tax Act; 2) properly receipting and safeguarding all revenue coming into the County; and 3) acting as the County's banker and investment officer, monitoring and assuring cash flow, and managing an investment portfolio that safeguards funds while maximizing returns. I serve as chair of the Calhoun County Land Bank and actively participate in its work. Foreclosures are down 40% (2012-2016) and 170 blighted homes were demolished (2013-2016).
1. Fairly administering the laws governing the collection of property taxes and tax foreclosures while preventing/reducing foreclosures; 2. Responsibly managing the handling and recording of the cash assets of the County; 3. Effectively working with the Land Bank Authority to eliminate blight in neighborhoods and promote property reuse. I will continue reaching out to homeowners and provide tools to reduce the number of property tax foreclosures, continue to seek more efficient and effective processes and services through technology and other means, and lead the Land Bank as a catalyst to demolish blighted structures and get properties back into productive use and on the tax rolls.
Reducing property tax foreclosures stabilizes property values and strengthens neighborhoods. I believe the County Treasurer should use any tools at her disposal to prevent and decrease foreclosures. Working with taxpayers who are struggling to pay their property taxes is allowed by Michigan statute--though not required, except under limited circumstances. Each County Treasurer in Michigan has the discretion to do as little or as much with this ability as she/he chooses. Losing a home is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a person or family. If a payment plan, a hardship extension, or assisting taxpayers to connect to programs can help save their home, it is my job to help.
The Calhoun County Land Bank Authority was created through an agreement between the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority and the Calhoun County Treasurer. The County Board of Commissioners appoints Land Bank Board members. By Michigan law, the County Treasurer is the chairperson of the Land Bank Board. This structure was set by Michigan law because the work of a Land Bank is so intertwined with that of the County Treasurer. Better management of distressed properties is accomplished by this alliance, and less taxpayer dollars are wasted by breaking the cycle of blighted properties repeatedly going through tax foreclosure. The County Treasurer plays a vital leadership role in this activity.
I believe that efficiency and effectiveness are a balancing act, and you are never quite finished seeking a better balance. I have done much to improve the functioning of the Treasurer's Office, such as reorganizing the office space for safer and better delivery of services. Before my tenure, few written procedures existed in the Treasurer’s Office to effectively guide the work, so we created dozens of written procedures for the regular tasks we perform on a daily, monthly or other basis. I improved ease of use of online payments and lowered credit card processing fees and bank processing fees. I will continually seek to improve all functions of my office, embracing technology when feasible.
Professional Experience 41 years Business Ownership/Management Profit Non-Profit Interim President/CEO Goodwill Industries Calhoun County Road Commission Business Manager
Political Experience None
Family Troy Wensauer, son (Allen Harmon Insurance) Laura Tooze daughter (Creative Arts International) Florida
Born and raised in Battle Creek, Graduated from St. Philips Catholic High School, KCC and WMU with a degree in Business/Finance and Information Technology. U.S. Army Veteran (Vietnam Era Active Duty) and current Commander, Navy under the MDMA. 41 years Business ownership. As Interim President/CEO of Goodwill Industries of CMH, I was the leader in pulling the company out of bankruptcy within 6 months without any grants keeping the 400 plus employees from losing their jobs and homes. As the Business Manager of the Calhoun County Road Commission, I was able to bring the accounting system that was not compliant with the GAAP, back in compliance and not lose the ACT 51 funds
1. I will manage the assets of the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority, making sure "Deals" benefit the people of Calhoun County and not just unqualified individuals or companies. 2. I started one of the first Computer Companies in Michigan and with my IT experience will bring the Treasurer office up to the most current technology, like I did with Goodwill Industries. 3. I will recognize the contributions of the staff members of the treasurer's office.
Working with individuals on keeping up the property and neighborhoods so that the values don't continue to drop. Teaching everyone that they might have to help your neighbor cut his grass, offer to help cleanup and repair broken windows and doors. Rather than have the inspection departments in the cities and townships just send letters and citations, starting having them help with resources available in their community and educational classes on home maintenance.
The CCLBA is a separate legal entity and public body incorporated in 2006. The LBA collaborates closely with the Calhoun County Treasurer's office to acquire, manage, and redevelop tax-reverted properties back into productive use.

Land Bank Fast Track Act of 2003 Act 258: Part of this act allows for the acquisition of property; accepting deed in lieu of foreclosure; release of tax lien.

38 counties are now part of the MLB (Intergovernmental Agreements) IGA's. since 2005.
I have several issues with how the Treasurer's office is being handled. Most of the issues has to do with lack of experience on the part of the current Treasurer. It has been reported, however, not verified that several long term staff members have resigned since her term of office including members of the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority board of Directors. As the Calhoun County LBA chairperson since January 2013 when she took office as the Calhoun County Treasurer, she became custodian of all the county funds, serving as the County Banker and investment officer. It has been reported to me, and not verified that issues with Townships over the property taxes turned over as delinquent.

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