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Erickson announces candidacy for auditor

By Staff | Mar 19, 2008

Mikki Erickson

Mikki Erickson of Estherville is announcing she is a candidate for Emmet County Auditor. She is seeking the Democratic nomination in the Tuesday, June 3 primary.

The Graettinger native and Graettinger High School graduate and husband Steve have been life-long area residents. Children include: Katie Kardell of Spencer, USAF Tech Sgt James Erickson of Grand Forks, ND, Craig of Decorah, Betsey of Estherville, and Nick of Estherville. The Ericksons have lived in Estherville for the past 30 plus years except for the six years Steve was line foreman for Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative in Swea City. At that time they resided east of Armstrong on an acreage where they raised cross-bred feeder lambs.

Erickson holds an Associate of Arts degree from Iowa Lakes Community College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Buena Vista University and a Masters of Business Administration from Southwest Minnesota State University.

It was in the early 1990s she was hired as Rohlin’s accounts receivable clerk to process billing and coordinate contracts with subcontractors and state and county engineers’ offices.

She began employment with Iowa Lakes Community College in 1998 and is currently the facilities specialist. Her main duty is coordination of physical operations on all five Iowa Lakes campuses.

“I work with multiple budgets, make sure the bills are processed correctly, negotiate with outside suppliers, organize bids, and provide information and solve problems for faculty and staff,” Erickson explains.

The candidate believes she possesses the necessary skills required for the varied responsibilities of the county auditor. The Emmet County Auditor is responsible for preparing and certifying tax levies, maintaining financial records, and maintaining real estate transfer records. In addition, the auditor serves as the clerk to the board of supervisors and as the commissioner of elections.

“My educational background and work experience would be valuable in fulfilling these requirements. I currently multi-task numerous projects on a daily basis including tracking special project budgets and maintaining utility and phone records. I have acquired the ability to conduct research in regard to changes in the Iowa Code, to process, comprehend and utilize information, and handle the written communications necessary. Most importantly, I have demonstrated the ability to learn and multitask extensively. I obtained my Masters degree in two and half years while working at my present position full-time and raising five children.”

She added, “According to the information I reviewed when considering running for auditor it is very important to be well informed regarding changes in the law especially at the state level. Currently there is a bill in the Iowa State legislature requiring new voting machines with actual paper ballots. The paper ballots would provide backup if there is a question regarding election results. It is my understanding that the bill provides money for both the new machines and also for training poll workers. I am glad to see that actual paper ballot machines are going to be used and that Emmet County will not be responsible for these new costs.”

Erickson thanked the current county auditor. “I would like to thank Bev Juhl for her almost 24 years of service to the voters of Emmet County. I feel that Bev and her staff have done an excellent job in one of the most important functions in the court house. Because the county auditor’s job is an integral part of the county’s operation, I feel it is extremely important that the transition to the new auditor be as smooth as possible. Bev has agreed to be available should I need her help if elected in November. In addition the Iowa State Association of County Auditors and the Iowa State Association of Counties offer classes and meetings to help newly elected officials.”

The candidate believes running for Emmet County Auditor is a real opportunity for her. “I have spent considerable time attaining my Master’s degree and being elected would allow me to put my education to work. I consider this campaign the biggest interview process I’ve been through. I would appreciate the voters of Emmet County looking at my qualifications and if they believe I am the best candidate I would appreciate their vote.”

Erickson is a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church and the Altar and Rosary Society. “I’m active with the Emmet County Democratic Central Committee and have been the treasurer for the past five years.” She also has been a member of the Emmet County and Fourth District Democratic Platform Committee and the Emmet County, Fourth District and State of Iowa Credentials Committee. Erickson will serve again this year on the 4th District Credentials Committee and will attend the Democratic convention on June 14 in Des Moines.

In her free time, the candidate enjoys spending time with her family and parents, Gerald and Bernice Weber, who still reside in Graettinger. “Steve has been very active with the Boy Scouts through the years and this has become a family affair.”

All three sons were members of Estherville Troop 31 with Jim and Nick attaining Eagle Scout. Katie filled in one summer as an assistant scout leader on an eight-day canoe trip to the Boundary Waters. With the children basically on their own now, Steve is trying to teach Mikki, much as he has done with the scout troop, how to cross country ski and kayak.