Spring is almost here…almost! It’s time to start looking ahead and making plans to attend the next MTAW conference, which will be April 26th and 27th at the beautiful American Club in Kohler. I’m sure the conference committee has some awesome training opportunities and wonderful networking time lined up so please join us! Don’t forget to pay your annual dues when you are registering for the conference. Scholarships are available to cover the cost for conference registration! Applications are available on the MTAW website and are due by March 1st. Scholarships are awarded at the spring MTAW conference. Please take the opportunity offered and apply for a conference registration scholarship so you can attend either a spring or fall MTAW conference.
Another conference scholarship opportunity is the John Schlice scholarship. This scholarship covers the cost of MTAW conference registration and two-night hotel cost. Applications are available on the MTAW website and are due by August 1st. Scholarships are awarded at the fall MTAW conference. This is a wonderful opportunity to attend an MTAW conference even if your municipal budget is tight. If you’re planning to attend UW-GB Treasurers Institute in July to obtain the excellent training offered there, then you’ll want to apply for a scholarship through MTAW to help with the cost. Applications are available on the MTAW website and are due by March 1st. Scholarships are awarded at the spring MTAW conference.
So many incredible training opportunities are being offered along with cost savings scholarship opportunities! I’d like to thank our many municipal service providers that provide funding for scholarships and UW-GB and Kassie for working so diligently to offer us outstanding training. We’re very fortunate to have them all supporting our association and members!
Do you have what it takes to join the elite group of treasurers who have attained their Certified Municipal Treasurer of Wisconsin (CMTW) designation? Please review the certification application on the MTAW website to see if you have attained, or are close to attaining, the education and experience that is needed to achieve your certification. It’s a great accomplishment to achieve your certification so go for it!
Remember last April when I took office I announced the first ever Treasurers Appreciation Week? Well, I’ll be having Governor Walker sign another proclamation again this year so each and every treasurer and deputy treasurer can receive the recognition and appreciation they deserve. Please watch the MTAW website for a copy of the official resolution signed by the Governor once I receive it. I’ve worked with several senators, a representative, and other avenues trying to get the president to also sign a resolution but have not had any success yet. I’ll keep working on it and will keep you posted.
As soon as I receive the signed proclamation from Governor Walker, about mid-February, I will post on the MTAW website the proclamation that each municipality can present to their municipal board or council confirming April 15 – 21, 2018 as Municipal Treasurer Appreciation Week. This is a wonderful way for you to show your staff some appreciation for all they do and for your board or council to show you their appreciation for your dedication and hard work.
Hope to see you all at the conference in April!
2017-2018 MTAW President
Angie Sterling, Village of Waterford Deputy Treasurer/Utility Clerk
Describe your current government position.
I am the Deputy Treasurer and Utility Clerk for the Village of Waterford. I support our Treasure and our Public Works Department and water utility team.
Why did you accept a public administration position?
I worked in an administrative assistant position got over 20 years for a local cable company. I decided that I wanted to continue to be in some type of assistant role but at a smaller scale that still had importance.
How has MTAW helped in your career development?
MTAW helped in career development: They are very informative and supportive in keeping their members informed and offering training, conferences and continuing education opportunities. You can embrace it as much as you’d like at your own pace.
What is the most challenging aspect about your current position?
We are a small municipality so we support each other no matter what department you work in. One of the challenges I have is making sure I know the correct information when assisting those other departments. It’s a blessing in disguise because I feel you can never learn too much.
What are you most passionate about as a leader in public administration?
Most passionate about being a leader in public administration: The people, I enjoy helping the public and educating them on our procedures and why we do things the way we do.
What is on your wish list or agenda for the next 5-10 years for your municipality?
I would love to complete the Treasures Institute and certification program. That is my biggest goal. Hopefully become a full-time treasurer down the road.
Share a proud job-related moment.
I enjoy supporting our Water Utility team and being able to be involved in helping with calculating their reporting. When they get an A+ on all the Confidence Data reports I’m really proud that for our municipality and community.
How or where do you like to spend your time to recharge yourself?
I love spending time with my 2 daughters, whether it’s doing activities, volunteering, watching movies or cooking. That’s the best way to keep me grounded and rejuvenated.
What three words best describe you?
Dedicated, giving & happy.
What advice/tips do you have for new treasurers?
Keep an open mind and embrace the changes as they occur.
Anything else you want to share with the MTAW membership.
I truly believe in giving back, I sit on multiple volunteer Boards for non-profits; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Optimist International (an organization that supports youth programs) and LOVE INC. which is our local food pantry, thrift store financial & educational support for poverty level residence. I participate in annual walks for Down Syndrome of Southern WI and JDRF. My motto is “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”
Three favorite websites.
Favorite Village Weblinks: http://www.waterfordwi.org/DocumentCenter/View/4109 – Our Newsletter
River Rhythms, our summer concert series right outside Village Hall: http://www.waterfordriverrhythms.org/
Kayaking on the River. Our office sits right on the Fox River: http://foxriverpaddlesports.com/
Click here and read about Julie Whalen’s conference experience. Julie is the finance director/treasurer for the Town of Grand Chute.
Here is Rex Roehl, City of Neilsville, with his 4th CMTW Re-Certification engraved watch at the April 2017 conference. He is one of the very few MTAW members to reach this level of re-certification.
Biographical Q&A with Valerie Clarizio
1. Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in Door County. I attended Lakeland College where I earned a bachelor degree in Accounting. Years later, I went back to Lakeland and earned an MBA. Before I worked for the City of Sturgeon Bay I worked at a manufacturing plant. I also teach part time at NWTC–accounting and business classes.
2. How long have you been a treasurer and where (include your municipality’s website)?
This coming June I will celebrate my eighteen year anniversary at the City of Sturgeon Bay.
3. How did you get where you are today in governmental treasury/finance work?
I was working in accounting at a manufacturing plant during the weekdays and waitressing on the weekends. One of my restaurant customers came in on a Saturday morning and asked if I had seen the advertisement for a Deputy Clerk/Treasurer. This customer was an alderperson who knew I had an accounting degree. I applied and now here I am, the Finance Director for the city.
4. What do you enjoy most in your position?
Mostly, I like the actual hands-on financial work like running analyses.
5. What do you enjoy least in your position?
I can’t please everyone no matter how hard I try.
6. Describe the funniest thing that has happened to you as a treasurer?
Nothing is coming to mind.
7. What is your best asset?
The staff – on all levels.
8. What is your greatest accomplishment as a Treasurer? (most proud of)
Obtaining the CPFO designation from the GFOA. I studied long and hard for those exams.
9. Explain a work-related innovative process or procedure you initiated that may benefit other municipalities?
At the City of Sturgeon Bay we eventually grew to the point where we needed an IS Department but could not afford one. After some negotiating, the City contracted with the County of Door for IS services. The County already had experienced and trained staff in place and with our financial assistance they were able to hire a helpdesk operator. I think it turned out to be a win for both entities.
10. Describe the most important lesson you have learned from your position.
Think before you speak and don’t be afraid to tell the Council you’ll have to get back to them when you can’t exactly remember what they are asking you for during a meeting.
11. What is the work-related website you visit most frequently? Leisure/entertainment website?
For work, I would have to go with our banking provider. For leisure, I will go with Facebook since I tend to get hooked on all those cat and dog videos.
12. Describe, in any manner you select, your office/work station environment (view too – if you have a window).
I have two windows in my office overlooking one of our main roads in town. It’s not very exciting. As for my desk area, I like to keep it tidy but that doesn’t always work. Luckily, we moved into a new City Hall almost ten years ago and everything is still clean and fresh. It’s nice.
13. How do you spend the first 30 minutes of a ‘typical’ day?
Checking email, putting out fires, and catching up with staff on outstanding projects.
14. What advice/tips do you have for new treasurers?
Join organization such as the Municipal Treasurers Association and the Government Finance Officers Association. Not only will you benefit from their learning opportunities but the networking opportunities are phenomenal as well.
15. How long have you been a MTAW member and what have you gained from your membership?
If memory serves me, I have been a MTAW member since I began working for the city, so about eighteen years. In addition to being educated in the many areas of municipal treasury management, one of the biggest benefits I’ve received from being a MTAW member is meeting and networking with other treasurers, and municipal service providers, who have helped me every step of the way. Countless times, I’ve picked up the phone and called other treasurers for advice and help, and countless times these folks have gone above and beyond to help me.
16. Any special MTAW memories you would like to share?
I really enjoy going to the conferences and each one lends a little something special.
17. Anything unique about your municipality?
Nope. I think we are just like everyone else. We try to do a good job serving our public.
18. Any family info you wish to share?
My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We have two cats who allow us to share their house.
19. What hobbies/interests do you have?
My husband and I enjoy the outdoors so we do a little fishing, hunting, and hiking.
20. What is your favorite food – is it available here – do you have it on vacation?
I love pepperoni pizza and chocolate.
21. What is your favorite vacation destination? Why?
In 2009 I had the privilege to travel to Alaska and I would love to go back someday. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking, and the wildlife we saw was amazing.
22. Tell us something about yourself that most people do not know or would never suspect, i.e. took tap dance lessons, does sign language at a deaf institute, whatever.
I write novels. When I first told people that I wrote a book they assumed it was an Accounting textbook.
23. Anything else you would like to add?
As I’ve mentioned before, it is a privilege to serve the members of MTAW. THANK YOU!
Hello MTAW members!
First of all, I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you this year. Through the years, MTAW has provided me with valuable educational tools and immeasurable networking experiences. I am very grateful and proud to be a member of such a wonderful organization.
Second, I’d like to thank all of you who volunteered to serve on committees and as District Directors. I know with our busy work and family schedules it is sometimes difficult to carve out time for the extras, so please know that your efforts do not go unnoticed and you are very much appreciated. There are still a few volunteer opportunities available. They can be found under the ‘Committees’ tab on the website. Serving on committees is a great way to meet other members and earn points for certification and/or recertification.
Now that I’ve made mention of our busy schedules, and asked for more of your time by volunteering for committees, I also want to ask you to make sure you take the time you need for yourself. Very few of us are good at this, yet it is so important. I’m embarrassed to say that our health insurance experience in Sturgeon Bay was so bad last year that we were kind of forced into a new wellness program. Recognizing the need for change, I volunteered for the committee and we are working toward achieving a healthier staff both physically and mentally. With this program, came the fancy new Fitbit I’m wearing. Currently, the Fitbit is telling me that I’m not getting enough sleep or exercising enough, however, according to the device, I do have a good resting heartrate when I’m home watching TV, so I have that going for me. Anyhow, part of what I’ve learned through this is that we really need to carve out time for ourselves. Take time to do something you enjoy, and take time to relax. A healthier and relaxed you will make for a more productive you. The end result – you’ll probably get the same amount of work done as when you run yourself ragged, only now you’ll be healthier and happier.
I’m going to close this message with a little story. Today I called our very own Helen Schmidlkofer, Madam President of APT US & C, because I had a question about something. After a few minutes we ended our conversation and I hung up the receiver. I thought about the things we talked about and found myself inspired by Helen. She’s so motivating and continues to give back to our organization time and time again, and now she’s serving on the national level too. I felt so good when I was done talking to her I decided that I was going to call her every Monday for a weekly pep talk. Sorry, Helen, you’ve been warned. I don’t want to stop here with just Helen because our organization has many members like her. I have been helped and inspired countless times by countless MTAW members and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a member of such a topnotch organization.
Who in MTAW inspires you? Drop me an email, I’d love to hear about it!
City of Sturgeon Bay
Happy Spring Everyone!
I must say life in my office was very interesting in March. We have the usual day-to-day activity, which always keeps us hopping. On top of that we always have our audit in March. We were very busy making sure our records were complete and accurate but somehow our auditors always seem to find some little detail that we miss. I am happy to say they were able to leave just in time to make it home before the big snowfall we had on March 23rd. Now this week we collect our second installment of taxes since our City collects on a four-installment plan. Of course there were a lot of last minute people getting their pet licenses yesterday as well. Oh yes and we had absentee voting going on! Life in a city office is anything but dull. I enjoy the diversity of the career path I have chosen – no two days are ever the same.
As we head into April, I near the end of my term as the President of our organization. Valerie Clarizio is busy putting together next year’s board and committees. I want to remind you members that there are always opportunities to get involved with this group. This is such a great way to learn more about MTAW and about the people who do the same job as you do in other communities. Don’t be afraid to volunteer.
Mark your calendar and make sure that you have registered for the Spring Conference “Go Green” at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, April 21-22. That is just weeks away now! For all you who are new treasurers or those who would like a review, there is also a Treasurers Workshop on Wednesday, April 20th. There is an additional registration and cost if you would like to attend this. I look forward to seeing everyone at the spring conference. Please stop me and introduce yourself.
One more reminder on the education front! The Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Institute is being held July 10-15, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay. I cannot say enough about the quality of this educational opportunity. This is University for Clerks and Treasurers! You will learn so much from it and it will help greatly with your positions as clerks and treasurers. The website for this is www.uwgb.edu/govt. This is also a great help in receiving points for your CMTW Certification.
I will close for now. Have a wonderful day. See you at the spring conference!
Best to you all.
Julia Mann, CMTW
City of Tomah Treasurer
Happy New Year my fellow Treasurers!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year with your family and friends. My family did a lot of traveling around the state to see everyone. We were in Waukesha on Christmas Day and then in Stevens Point on the 26th. I was happy to see everyone, but was very happy to stay home on that Sunday.
Now here we are in the middle of tax season. My office has been very busy as I am sure all of yours have been as well. We do our best to help our customers. It seems that small issues arise every day, little things that we are trained to handle and take care of. Some days feel like we are handling ten different things at once but again this is what we have been trained to do. Handle the details.
I am sure many of you have started getting your books in order for your yearly audit as well. I just sent off all my bank confirmation letters to my auditors. To top it off, tonight is our council meeting. January, don’t you just love it?
I guess what I am saying is this is our time of year to shine. We show our communities that we are professional treasurers trained to do this job. Put on a smile and do your best.
Julia Mann, CMTW
City of Tomah