Treasurer Candidates on their Qualifications

Brent Finnegan -- October 27th, 2008

As part of our ongoing Q&A with local candidates, we asked all three candidates for City Treasurer; Why are you running for Treasurer? What qualifies you to hold the office?

Here are their responses, unedited, in the order I received them:

Bill Ney: After spending 40 years in the retail business, it is now time to give back to Harrisonburg. My family strongly believes in service to the community and it is now time for me to serve.

With 40 years of business experience in customer service, personnel management, finance, and accounting, I am the most qualified candidate for the Harrisonburg City Treasurer’s position.
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Penny Paul Imeson: I am running because the job matches my interests and background. My strengths are numbers, accounting and organization. I am running because I want the job and will be good at it.

The depth and breadth of my resume strongly qualify me for the job. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa in mathematics and German, I earned a Masters in Business Administration from the College of William & Mary. All of my work experience has centered upon accounting, finance and systems design. I worked in cash receipts and accounting for the fundraising office at William & Mary before becoming a financial analyst for Tenneco’s Newport News Shipbuilding, a Fortune 500 company. I was an expediter for a design firm in New York City and the director of a preschool in Georgia.

My husband and I have grown two local businesses from scratch. From growing our startup to a million dollar company, I have proven leadership and accountability. I am committed to my hometown. Public service is a part of my heritage and I am honored to continue the tradition.

Harrisonburg is no longer a small town. We should have an educated, experienced financial professional running the Treasurer’s office. I am that candidate.
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Jeff Shafer: First and foremost, having been on the job for six months, I love it. I absolutely love what I do. I look forward to going to work every day. Was it a challenge at first? Absolutely. But, I love a challenge. I get fulfillment out of the fact that slowly but surely, the Treasurer’s office is turning the page. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, but I’m even more excited about the future. I’m striving to see our office meet the wants and desires of today’s citizens. By that I mean continuing to provide more options for people to pay their taxes and bills while making the office more efficient to give the best customer service possible. This position fits me. It provides me the opportunity to utilize my skills in problem solving, working with numbers, and leading a team. It has been rewarding to assist taxpayers while at the same time building bridges with other city departments to help make our city government run more cohesively.

I am qualified to hold this office because of my on the job experience in the treasurer’s office as well as Commissioner of the Revenue office. My degree from JMU in Music Industry laid the foundation I have been building on for the last 18 years. It gave me the unique mix of both the creative side of music along with solid knowledge and understanding of business. I also worked for 12 years in the retail business where I worked in management, sales, bookkeeping, and inventory control. I have supervisory experience in addition to completing the City’s comprehensive supervision training program, working knowledge of tax code and experience in customer service in both the private and public sectors. I bring to this position the ability to think critically and analytically, experience helping people in difficult financial times in a caring manner yet upholding tax policy. I have experience in budget preparation, both revenue and expenditure. I am the only candidate who has the combination of education, business experience, customer service, and experience in government service and taxation.
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Three candidates are running for City Treasurer. We’ll post more questions and answers this week.

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