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Candidates Forum (Derek Whited)

Bureau County Treasurer — Republican candidate

Age: 35

Residence: Princeton

Education: I am a graduate of Princeton High School; I have an associate’s degree in business from IVCC; and I have a bachelor’s degree in aviation administration from Lewis University.

Experience: Currently I am employed at the Walmart Distribution Center (8 years) in Spring Valley, I also have a couple of part-time jobs working for Taylor Environmental Services, and I am a Bureau County Board member. Also, during this time I ran Whited Painting (4 years).  Before that I worked in Yuma International Airport in Yuma, Ariz., (2 years).  Before that I had multiple jobs while in high school, college and after college.

What are your top three priorities:

1. Technology — I would like to update the office with any computer programs to help the office become more efficient. Build a treasurer’s website the public can interact with the office for questions or comments that relate to the treasurer’s office. I hope these upgrades/updates will be a minimum cost but also make it easier for the public to access the treasurer’s office. I would like the public to have more access to see how its county government is being ran, giving more transparency, so its elected officials or candidates can’t mislead the public on how the money is spent.

2. Help — I would like to use the office of treasurer to help the public and its employees to understand from a financial point different aspects on how interest, dividends, taxes, insurance, retirement, pensions and revenues are being used in its county. So I will be available to anyone who has questions on any matter that might interest them. I am not talking about advice, just education. And if I don’t know, I want to direct the people on who to talk to. I don’t have all the answers, but if you’re looking for somebody to help you financially, I want the treasurer’s office to be an option for you (the public or employee) to talk to. Government is supposed to help its citizens, not be a road block.

3. Cut Cost/Increase Revenue — I want to work with all elected officials, including the county board, to come up with ways to cut spending in the county. I think using business ideas we can work together to cut costs. I also would like to work with local business to create jobs here in Bureau County. I think using the treasurer’s office we can be a resource for local business. I see a lot of potential in the things I can do without increasing taxes to increase revenues for the county.

How would you describe yourself to voters: I would describe myself to the voters as proud. I am proud of my family. I am proud of friends. I like where I live, and I like the people I work with. Most of all I am proud to represent the county district I am in and want to represent all of the people of Bureau County. That is why when I am asked a question I answer to the best of knowledge to anybody who asks. Life is not fair, and we have some things in the county that needs to be addressed; but we also have a lot things going for the county, and I like to think that I am just one of those positive things helping the county. I would like to continue that, but I can’t do that without the people voting for me.

Why should voters cast there vote for you: When I decided to run I looked at my qualifications and thought “would I vote for myself?” I’m not going to give an answer that tells the reader I am better than Mrs. Mabry because I’m not, I am just different. The Republican voters have two choices: A candidate in Mrs. Mabry who has the office experience as deputy treasurer, who I’m sure would make a good treasurer; Or me, who has run a small airport, who has run a small business, who has trained, hired and fired employees, who has common sense and a little brain power to go along with that and is approachable. I’m no better or worse than her or anybody else. I am like you, a guy who struggles with the same day to day problems but that understanding, similarity and life experiences makes me qualified to run that office and help the county move forward.

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