The primary election is just a month away and Tom Sabor is a candidate for Delta County treasurer. The position is responsible for millions of taxpayer dollars and is one that requires someone who has the knowledge and practical know-how to represent the citizens' interests. Experience!
The primary duties of the treasurer are to be responsible for all county funds, including property taxes, state and federal grants, interest income, and trust and agency funds (Delta County website, 2012). Delta County's budget is $9.362 million (Daily Press, 9/21/11), a considerable responsibility. Yet, the aforementioned duties are remarkably similar to the duties that Mr. Sabor has successfully performed for years - experience!
Mr. Sabor, a CPA with a master's degree, was responsible for the Escanaba Area Public Schools' budget for 18 years. In that time, the budget was nearly $24 million ('01-'02), more than double the county's, before decreasing due to declining enrollment. The fund balance (savings) increased from $500,000 to over $2.4 million during Mr. Sabor's years. Yes, many others had a hand in that accomplishment, but it was on Mr. Sabor's financial watch and under his guidance. By leveraging those savings, the district borrowed much less and thereby saved taxpayers thousands of dollars in what would have otherwise been needless interest payments. Experience!
When district voters approved an $18 million renovation/construction bond in 2001, Mr. Sabor was responsible for the sale of the bonds and investing the proceeds. He also supervised the bid process, and reconciled the subsequent payments to contractors. Please keep in mind that this was in addition to his regular responsibilities. In total, he monitored approximately $40 million of taxpayer money that year. Experience!
As the market changed and interest rates became more favorable, in 2006 Mr. Sabor recommended that the district refinance part of the original bond debt. I'm guessing that most voters have no idea that this one move saved district taxpayers $345,281 (June 30, 2006 District Audit, p. 30). Experience!
In addition to "counting the beans," Mr. Sabor worked well beyond normal hours to keep the unions completely informed of district finances, and he was rewarded with their trust and respect. The news was not always good, but we always knew it was accurate. Employees throughout the district appreciated the time and consideration that Mr. Sabor provided to them. Experience!
I urge the Daily Press and all voters to carefully examine Mr. Sabor's candidacy, his skills, and what he brings to the treasurer's office - professionalism and competency, but most of all - Experience!
Dr. Tom Smith, retired superintendent
Escanaba Area Public Schools