Hamilton County Treasurer Deborah Leksell announced Tuesday morning that she will retire from her office effective Dec. 31. The announcement came during the regular Hamilton County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Leksell, who has served as treasurer for 26 years, said she had mixed feelings about her decision.
"I would like to thank the people of Hamilton County for their trust in me," Leksell said in her letter to the supervisors. "I could not have done anything without the wonderful staff in the office, whose mission has been to provide cheerful, courteous, outstanding service to the people of Hamilton County."
Leksell said she has served on the executive board and as president of the Iowa State County Treasurers' Association. As part of that organization, she was involved in the many changes and innovations of county government services, including the complete rewrite of the Iowa tax sale code. She also pointed to the implementation of electronic collection of taxes on individual, portfolio and escrow accounts, as well as motor vehicle renewals. Her office has also seen innovations that resulted in the daily processing of all taxes with no work backlog, according to Leksell.
The supervisors thanked Leksell for her years of service and the treasurer said she felt the county was fortunate to have officials that work well together.
"We work really well together as a team. We truly work hard for the benefit of all the Hamilton County citizens," she said. "I appreciate your work. I don't think people are away of all the aspects of our jobs."
"I thank you for the support you've given me," Leksell said.
The supervisors will have the option to appoint a person to serve as treasurer, or to call a special election for the office. The supervisors voted to proceed with the appointment process, but noted that citizens could call for a special election if they so desired.
"I've looked at the code and the requirements," said Wes Sweedler, supervisor. "I'll make the motion that for two weeks from the date of publication in the county newspapers, we will accept applications for appointment to the office."
Sweedler also said that two week time frame would give the public an opportunity to request a special election. The appointment would not be made until Jan. 2. At that time, the public would still be able to call for a special election, Sweedler said.
"That gives us time in December to do any interviews and to make our decision on the matter," he said.
In her letter to the board of supervisors, Leksell had recommended Shari Vermett, a 27-year-veteran of her office. Vermett served as the tax and drivers license supervisor in the office, and has an in depth knowledge of the property tax and accounting system used in the treasurers office, according to Leksell.