The current Kent County Treasurer, Ken Parrish, announced earlier this year he was not seeking a seventh term. The candidates are Jose L. Reyna and Beth White. The winner will square off against Republican Peter MacGregor in the General Election. Read Jose Reyna's responses below in a summary of the full article by Michael Kransz of MLive. The full article is available on Mlive with link below.
Lawyer, administrative consultant will face off in Democratic primary for Kent County Treasurer
Why are you running for office?
Reyna: I have extensive experience and interest in public finance. I had served as the Fiscal Services Manager & Purchasing Agent for the City of Grand Rapids and was able to achieve significant operational improvements and cost savings. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Kent County Treasurer with the goals of building on the strength of the core function of the office, increase public awareness and transparency of the office, and implement best practices to improve services for all users.
What is the greatest challenge facing the office you seek? How will you address it?
Reyna: Currently, the greatest challenge is the lack of community awareness and engagement by the public with the Treasurer Office functions. The office is responsible for significant operations that affect the public; tax collections, fund disbursements, investment of public funds, budget development and management, and procurement of goods and services. There is a need for greater transparency in the information shared and increased citizen engagement with each of the functions.
It is necessary to conduct an aggressive strategy to increase awareness and engagement with the office. The use of social media to provide information and opportunities for community engagement is essential. Convene public meetings during non-traditional times and locations to inform the public about Treasurer office functions. Solicit community input on proposed service improvements.
What strategies would you use to remain responsive and accountable to the public between elections?
Reyna: As Treasurer, I would employ all methods to remain accessible and responsive to the public between elections. The use of social media, town hall meetings, and other modes of communication that serve as intentional ways to conduct public outreach and opportunities for interaction.
Additionally, the Treasurer has the responsibility to provide mandated services and has specified performance measures in fulfilling those responsibilities. It is important to provide "report cards" on those projected outcomes. These updates could be posted electronically and distributed via mail and email distribution lists.