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NOMINATION SPEECH (Accomplishments/Opportunities)
Thank you Senator Wardner for your kind words and support and thank you to our son‚Äôs Connor and Evan, they‚Äôve been part of this journey for much of their lives.¬† Their willingness to stand up for Mom means a lot.¬† Thanks, guys.¬†
Our son‚Äôs Justin and Michael couldn‚Äôt be with us today, they have left the borders of our great nation to continue their service in the US Navy.¬† Justin was commissioned an officer in 2009 and just celebrated his 10th year as a sailor.¬† He and his wife, Amy, are stationed in Washington State.¬† He‚Äôs currently deployed in Japan.¬† Michael is just completing his first year as a sailor.¬† His orders have also taken him to Japan aboard the USS George Washington.¬† We are so proud of their willingness to serve and pray God continues to protect them wherever their responsibilities take them.¬†
A special thank you to my husband, Chuck, for his support and encouragement.¬† Chuck is my rock, my cheerleader and my best friend.¬†¬†
Just as our families have changed our state is changing too and The State Treasurer‚Äôs office is no exception.¬† Our cash management responsibilities have increased over 550%.¬† In 2004, we were managing 54 general fund CD‚Äôs‚Ä¶at a record $750 million dollars.¬† Today that number has increased to over 325 CD‚Äôs and over $2 billion dollars.¬† With the increase in Oil and Gas we have seen our distribution responsibilities increase over 300%.
We‚Äôve meet these challenges with efficiency, accountability and with the exception of one time spending for technology development, ¬†I‚Äôve accomplished this with a 15% reduction in our operating budget.¬† ¬†¬†
I have been committed to running an administration focused modernization, accuracy and transparency.¬† That commitment remains and will continue.¬† ¬†¬†
I secured one time funding to re-write the software with which my office distributes its various tax distributions to North Dakota‚Äôs political subdivisions.¬† This system dated back to the 1970‚Äôs, required manual input and was expensive to operate.¬† Our new system (TDOC) Tax distributions/Outstanding check allows us to ‚Äúreach out‚ÄĚ and pull data from other government systems, increasing accuracy and productivity.¬† The first distribution implemented in TDOC was the oil and gas distribution.¬† Several other distributions have been written, tested and implemented during this last biennium.¬† I completed this project $285,000 under budget.¬†
The outstanding check portion of TDOC has improved the financial processes throughout state government.¬† It allows state agencies to ‚Äúwork‚ÄĚ their outstanding check list prior to those funds being transferred to Unclaimed Property.¬†¬† Achieving resolution sooner rather than transferring these funds provides a more efficient government.¬† These dollars are handled fewer times, require less tracking and those outstanding funds can be placed in the hands of their rightful owner or put back to proper use in the state treasury.¬†
We have developed a new database and reporting system to accommodate the many requests we receive. We provide analysis, data and explanation of various tax distributions and state laws on fund maintenance.¬†¬† My goal is and always has been to provide information and education to the public or to assist our legislators in achieving their goals as efficiently as possible while both limiting the cost to the state and maximizing the potential for investment revenue.
I am so fortunate to have a staff dedicated to accuracy, accountability and professionalism.¬† It has been through their hard work that we continue to address the challenges of our increased responsibilities and still have a perfect audit for the 2011 CAFR.¬†¬† I have¬†always believed you are only as good as the folks who stand beside you and I‚Äôm blessed to have a great team at my side. ¬†¬†¬†
North Dakota been blessed in many ways, but with those blessings have come many challenges.¬† There is much work to do‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶.
I will continue to work with the legislature to secure the funding needed to transfer the remaining distributions to our TDOC system.¬† So we may continue to address the ever changing needs associated with the fast pace of our financial growth.¬†
I will seek to improve the financial processes throughout state government.¬† Working together we can continue to bring efficiencies and cost savings to the people of North Dakota. ¬†¬†
We have seen significant increases in our website activity. ¬†¬†North Dakotans want to know how and where their resources are being used. --- ¬†¬†The people‚Äôs treasury is the people‚Äôs business. --- ¬†¬†With that in mind, we will work to expand our website to provide more transparency and education relating to state funds.¬†
The use of technology has brought new efficiencies and security to the process of managing the people‚Äôs treasury.¬†¬† Our challenge continues and our commitment to serve remains the same.¬† Whether it‚Äôs a large county with an intricate IT system or a small township using a one line dial up internet service, we are called to serve them all‚Ä¶AND WE DO.¬†
I will identify areas where we can make an impact in our North Dakota communities.¬† Whether it is helping our cities and counties receive their tax dollars faster for roads and schools or helping our citizens acquire the tools to achieve financial success.
I will continue to invest and manage the Veteran‚Äôs Postwar Trust Fund with the greatest level of integrity.¬† This is a great responsibility; one I accept with honor and eternal gratitude to those who has served this great nation.¬† We are a family rich in military service.¬† My grandfather and father were veterans; my husband Chuck is an Air Force veteran.¬† I‚Äôve mentioned we have two sons wearing a Navy uniform.¬† My brother wears that same uniform.¬† Our veterans deserve our utmost respect and care, and it is my duty to ensure that the Veterans Post War Trust Fund continues to grow to meet the needs of our current AND future veterans.¬†¬†¬†
Our challenges continue and my commitment to serve remains the same.¬† In 2004, I made a promise, my promise still stands‚Ä¶I will continue to apply my principles of hard work and integrity to best serve the people of North Dakota.¬† I thank you for that opportunity and I thank you for your support!¬†¬†