JULIE SORENSON, the chief deputy treasurer of Shiawassee County, was selected by the Statutory Appointment Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 18 to serve as the treasurer of Shiawassee County. Sorenson was selected over four other candidates – Venice Township Supervisor Kevin Kingsbury, former Venice Township supervisor and state Rep. Larry Julian, District 6 Commissioner Cindy Garber and wealth management advisor Mindy Brisbane.
The Statutory Appointment Committee, comprised of Clerk Caroline Wilson, Probate Judge Thomas Dignan and Prosecuting Attorney Deana Finnegan, appointed Sorenson, 2-1, with Larry Julian receiving the third vote. Sorenson will serve through the end of 2020, unless she seeks and wins reelection in the Nov. 3, 2020 election.
Longtime Treasurer Tom Dwyer retired on Thursday, Aug. 15, though his retirement did not officially take effect until Friday, Aug. 30. Wilson, Finnegan and Judge Dignan convened the committee on Thursday, Aug. 29 and accepted letters of interest for the position until Friday, Sept. 13. The committee originally intended to use the Sept. 18 meeting to discuss applicants and narrow the field to four candidates, with a third meeting set for Monday, Sept. 23 to conduct interviews.
However, with only five total candidates, the decision was made at the beginning of Wednesday’s meeting to expedite the process and conduct interviews right away. The committee requested that the candidates briefly introduce themselves before excusing the public and conducting individual interviews in closed session.
The committee spent the better part of two hours interviewing the candidates and then invited the public back to witness their deliberation. The vote was then taken by ballot.
Wilson, Finnegan and Judge Dignan, the committee chairperson, worked quickly though prudently to execute their objective of filling the vacant treasurer position. Unfortunately, not everyone approved of their method of voting, including Commissioner Garber and District 5 Commissioner Jeremy Root, who attended the Sept. 18 meeting.
“Making the public aware of the issues in the county treasurer’s office has not been a popular move by the Board of Commissioners,” shared Garber. “During the appointment process, it was noted that the commissioners, myself included, have put out a negative image of the treasurer’s office. Unfortunately, doing the right thing isn’t always popular. The fact remains that the Board of Commissioners, in an effort to support the treasurer, spent a considerable amount of money to assist with vital accounting functions. With this appointment, nothing in the treasurer’s office has changed. It reminds me of county leadership meetings where I often hear, ‘Nothing new to report; business as usual.’”
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)