Local elections are next week. One position challenged on the ballot is the Monroe County Treasurer. News13’s Nicole Walters has a look at the candidates.
Republican Theresa Johnson has served as the Monroe County Treasurer since 2017 which is responsible for processing all taxes and other monies due to the county along with issuing Pennsylvania licenses. Now she’s looking to be re-elected.
Johnson says, "I’m very excited to be running again, I love what I’ve done in my office over the past four years and I want to continue to do that. I always look for better ways to create revenue for the county and better serve the residents of Monroe County."
The lifelong Monroe County resident grew up on a farm and now lives in Reeders. But the mother of two says it was her 40 years experience in banking that has helped make the office run more efficiently.
Johnson says, "Was able to help generate over two million dollars in just changing the accounts and I have upgraded technology and in doing that has better productivity. And we have streamlined all of our paperwork, now scanning electronically and saving the taxpayers money on that as well."
Democrat Lucas DeBartolo believes he could do a better job in the position. The East Stroudsburg resident is currently the manager of special initiatives at Pocono Mountains United Way and oversees those who are responsible for handling the millions of dollars that comes into the nonprofit.
DeBartolo says, "It’s definitely bothered me that there’s this waste happening that people who are supposed to have financial knowledge are not realizing and being taken advantage of. And it just goes to show what experience you need to have to be the treasurer."
The Monroe County native has three degrees in finance, accounting and business administration from East Stroudsburg University and Northampton Community College.
DeBartolo says, "Looking to save Monroe County residents and Monroe County taxpayers hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars both by increasing interests and also by saving money in fees and performance on the pension fund."
DeBartolo’s biggest gripe is with how the county’s pension fund is being handled. He would save money by changing the advisor and invest in better performing funds with lower fees.
DeBartolo says, "One fund for instance we have 18 million dollars in that has only grown 20 percent in the last four years instead 60 percent that the market has grown."
Johnson is one of five people who sit on the retirement board and doesn’t agree that money is being wasted.
Johnson says, "Our performance fund balance is doing the best it ever has done really and we want to continue with that."
Election day is November 2nd.