Governor confirms Weber’s appointment as Osage County treasurer

Longtime treasurer Jo Ann Hamilton to retire July 31, 2015

On Aug. 1, Osage County will have its first new county treasurer in more than three decades. Confirmation came Friday from the governor’s office of the Osage County Republican precinct committee’s appointee, Shari Weber, of Vassar.

Weber will take over the position to be vacated by longtime Osage County Treasurer Jo Ann Hamilton due to her upcoming retirement.

Hamilton had submitted a two-sentence resignation to the Osage County commissioners and Gov. Sam Brownback on May 4.

“This letter is to inform you that I will be resigning my position as Osage County Treasurer effective August 1, 2015. My last of employment will be July 31, 2015,” Hamilton’s resignation letter said.

Hamilton’s employment with the county began in January 1976, and she first became county treasurer in March 1984. Weber will fill the remainder of Hamilton’s current term that ends next year. Hamilton was last elected in 2012.

Weber was chosen for the position by the Osage County Republican precinct committee during a special committee meeting held last Tuesday evening at the Osage County Courthouse in Lyndon. According to state statute, a convention of the political party of the current officeholder is to be held to elect an appointee to fill a vacancy for county treasurer and other district offices. Willie Prescott, chairman of the Osage County Republican Central Committee, called last week’s meeting to order with 15 of the county’s 18 Republican precinct committee members present.

Weber told Osage County News on Friday that she and one other candidate, Tamara Massey, had expressed an interest in the position, and both were interviewed during the precinct meeting, which was open to the public. Massey is employed as an administrative assistant in the Osage County Sheriff’s Office.

Following Weber’s election by the precinct committee members, her name was submitted to the governor’s office. Confirmation of the governor’s appointment was issued Friday by Kim Borchers, the governor’s director of appointments, in a letter to the secretary of state requesting a commission of appointment.

Weber, who served for five terms as a Kansas state representative 1995 to 2002 and 2005 to 2006, is currently employed as a financial associate with Thrivent Financial Lutheran.

During her five-minute statement made at the precinct committee meeting, Weber said her experience as an elected official combined with her knowledge as a financial advisor would help her fulfill the responsibilities of the treasurer’s office.

“Most of my career has been focused on various aspects of the financial services arena,” Weber said in her statement. “My election and service as a state legislator also gave me firsthand experience in serving the public as an elected official. Most recently, my career as a financial associate has afforded me the opportunity to give customer service based on the needs and objectives of the client.

“I intend to carry that same spirit of service, integrity and efficiency to the treasurer’s office,” she said.

Weber said she would no longer be contracted with Thrivent Financial when she starts her job as treasurer.

“The county treasurer is an 8 to 5 job,” Weber said, saying she would be working full-time as treasurer, beginning with learning the position.

“I will have to bring myself up to speed on vehicle registration and tax collection and will work on obtaining formal certifications – that will require my time,” she said.

Likewise, she said two companies in which she is a partner, Cyber Job Centers, Inc. and Kansas Cyber Job Centers Foundation, will not require her time, as the business of those companies is conducted by her partner, Gary Deines. Weber said the companies are still startup businesses.

“Those two companies have never transacted business,” Weber said. “It hasn’t taken up our time the last several years.”

In 2010, the two companies and Weber and Deines were the subject of a Topeka Capital Journal report, in which they were said to have attempted to link the online employment companies to Topeka’s bid to become the hub of Google’s experimental fiber-optic Internet system. The Capital Journal reported that Weber, who was then executive director of American Majority Kansas, was dismissed from that job due to her online jobs company’s pitches to Think Big Topeka. The report also noted Weber’s termination in 2008 as chief executive officer of the Community Bankers Association, after she had begun a campaign for a seat in the Kansas Senate.

Weber has been an Osage County resident for more than 10 years, moving from Herington with her husband Marvin to the Vassar area. In addition to her job as financial associate, she is active politically, currently serving as secretary for the Osage County Republican Central Committee.

In her statement to the precinct committee, Weber said she is involved in “Republican politics including commitments to serve in the Central Committee and Republican Women’s Group as an officer. I am not only proud to be a Republican, but also value the opportunities presented for service in our county through these organizations.”

Weber said she looked forward to working with the current staff in the treasurer’s office. “(They) have proven their ability to work as a team to serve our county residents and fulfill the responsibilities given to the county treasurer’s office,” Weber said. “I intend to depend on their skill set and they can depend on me to lead them while keeping an eye toward constant improvement and professional capacity.”

“I promise to be a servant leader with an eye to the letter of the law as well as the personal service the tax paying citizens of Osage County deserve,” Weber said. “I intend to serve the citizens of Osage County in a manner worthy of their trust.”


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