Mihalko, Morrison square off on Aug. 9 ballot to win Republican spot in fall election
Two Port Washington residents and political newcomers are vying to succeed longtime Ozaukee County Treasurer Karen Makoutz in a primary election Tuesday, Aug. 9.
CariAnne Mihalko faces Joshua Morrison for the Republican spot in the Nov. 8 election.
Mihalko, 42, is the controller for the Ozaukee County Clerk of Courts.
“I want to continue working for the citizens of Ozaukee County. I have the experience necessary to continue the good work of that office. I’ve proven good management of the county’s money,” Mihalko said.
Morrison, 36, is a machinist studying accounting at Moraine Park Technical College.
“I think it is a position that complements what I am capable of doing as far as education. I’d really like to help, and if I can serve my community by accounting for my county’s money, that would be amazing because not only can I help but I can help doing what I love to do,” he said.
Mihalko said her qualifications include balancing her department’s budget, increasing collections by utilizing new resources and negotiating contracts for cost savings and efficiencies.
She worked for three years in mortgage banking and 14 years as office manager for a landscape construction firm. She has been the Clerk of Courts controller for five years.
Mihalko said she understands the county’s systems and its employees.
“Because of my experience in the county I have relationships with other county departments and have built relationships with County Board members,” she said.
Mihalko is married and a mother to two children, ages 14 and 9. In her spare time, she works as a volunteer treasurer for the Port Washington Soccer Club.
Morrison is married and the father of five children ages 18 to 1, and plays in a hard rock band. He said he is good at time management.
“I find myself to be honest and ambitious. I have a strong desire to succeed and desire to impress,” Morrison said.
If Morrison wins the primary and the November election, he has a transition plan. He would train with Makoutz to learn the position on his own time as much as possible.
“I’ve actually pledged my time to our current treasurer, Karen. She’s really an institution,” he said. “I don’t think it should be on the taxpayer roll to pay money for training.”
While the county treasurer doesn’t make public policy, the job is a partisan position.
Both Mihalko and Morrison said they execute conservative principles when managing money.
“Even though we don’t create policy, we can influence policy in this position, working collaboratively with the County Board,” Mihalko said. “Part of the position is investment of county funds — funds not used for daily purposes.”
Morrison said he doesn’t see the position as political.
“My job would not be to play politics with this. My job is to take care of the county’s money,” he said. “I’m not a guy who goes out and spends money I don’t have and can’t pay back.”
The county treasurer receives all county moneys, pays county bills, collects taxes, records property assessments, tracks unclaimed money and invests county funds. The term is four years.
Makoutz is retiring after 23 years as county treasurer.
Also on the Aug. 9 ballot is a Democratic primary for 6th Congressional District candidates Sarah Llyod of Wisconsin Dells and Michael Slattery of Maribel. The winner takes on Republican Glenn Grothman in November.
Photo ID will be required to vote in the primary. For information, go to www.bringitwisconsin.com.
For a sample ballot, see the inside of this week’s Ozaukee Press.
Polling locations in the area are:
City of Port Washington — St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Wards 1 and 7; City Hall, Wards 2 and 3; Grand Avenue United Methodist Church, Wards 4 to 6.
Village of Grafton — John Long Middle School.
Village of Saukville — American Legion Post.
Village of Belgium — Village Hall.
Village of Fredonia — Fredonia Government Center.
Village of Newburg — Village Hall.
Town of Port Washington — Town Hall.
Town of Saukville — Town Hall.
Town of Grafton — Town Hall.
Town of Fredonia — Fredonia government Center.
Town of Belgium — Town Hall.