OSAGE | A former Mitchell County supervisor was one of five people who applied for the recently filled county treasurer position, according to county officials.

Stan Walk, one of the two Mitchell County supervisors, provided the Globe Gazette with the list of individuals who showed interest in the position: Shannon Paulus (who was appointed), Cynthia Johnson, Dawn Adams, Susan Ellison and Jane Michels.

Contact information for the latter four above was not provided, as Walk said he threw that information away after the board appointed Paulus to treasurer on Jan. 2.

According to a prior Iowa Supreme Court ruling from 1988, "public agencies can make job applications confidential," according to the Iowa Public Information Board.

"I felt there was no need to keep them," Walk said of not having the contact information.

Walk and fellow Supervisor Joel Voaklander said they decided to appoint Paulus and not hold a special election because there were limited dates they could hold the election, and the cost would have been between $2,000 and $3,000.

Walk added that Paulus' service to the county was a key reason why she was selected as treasurer.

"It wasn’t just one thing, she does have a BA degree, she’s worked in management positions," he said. "As a county supervisor, she went above and beyond what was required of the office to help out with various situations."

Voaklander also emphasized the fact the position is up for re-election this fall played into his and Walk's decision not to hold a special election.

"Sure, it costs money to have an election, and this would be a countywide election and all that factors in," he said. "How painful do you want to make it? And it’s up for election this year … a year goes by real fast in this business."

Paulus said Tuesday that it was "weird" having to apply for the treasurer position while serving as a supervisor, because she had to take certain steps to avoid conflict-of-interest situations.

She added, however, that she is confident about her new role, and hopes to improve the treasurers' office. According to the Iowa State Association of Counties, the Mitchell County Treasurer's salary is $56,512.

Other people did apply for the position, but she felt her background — including as a supervisor, and having a business management and marketing degree from NIACC — made her a solid fit for the job.

"I’m kind of a numbers nerd and I love computers," Paulus said. "And I’m willing to learn and willing to get certified with all the skills that the girls at the counter have."

Mitchell County Lowell Tesch said Tuesday that he, Paulus and County Recorder Pat Skuster are planning to fill the vacancy on the board this Friday.

Tesch emphasized in multiple interviews that the decision to appoint Paulus as treasurer fell solely on Walk and Voaklander.

"This was a supervisors' decision," he said Tuesday. "It was their appointment, I had no part of that."

Tesch clarified that if the supervisors had chosen to hold a special election, then candidates would have needed to file and he would have their names and contact information. 

Now, however, Paulus is in her first month of replacing Pamela K. Meyer, who resigned last month. One of her main goals is to bring CDL driver testing to Mitchell County.

"I have to meet with the DOT individual about that and I have to talk to her because there’s new rules about doing the testing," she said, adding there are more driving aspects to the test than in the past, and a certain obstacle course needs to be set up.

Paulus — if nobody chooses to run in the spring primary — is scheduled to run for re-election in November. For now, she just wants to serve those in Mitchell County.

"Stop in, we’re more than happy to help," Paulus said.

Contact Steve at 641-421-0527 or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

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