The South Bend Voice is publishing a series of articles on local candidates running for county offices this fall. We believe that it is vitally important for voters to be informed before they head to the ballot box on November 4.
While we do not endorse individual candidates, we will provide the equal opportunity for candidates to share their views with the public through a questionnaire.
No alterations have been made — even for spelling and grammar. We believe that our job is to ask the tough questions and candidates’ responsibility is to speak directly to voters.
With that said, let’s introduce Mike Hamann, the Democratic nominee for St. Joseph County auditor. Republican candidate Gerard Arthus was provided the opportunity to participate but did not respond to our request.
Full Name: Mike Hamann
Current Job Title/Employer: Teacher at St. Joseph High School and County Council District A
College Major: History and Theology (BA in History; MA in American History and MA in Theology)
Alma Mater: University of Notre Dame
Experience in Elected Office: St. Joseph County Commissioner 1999-2003; St. Joseph County Council 2009-2014
There was an issue earlier this year with the county’s balance sheet. An audit from the State Board of Accounts found that there was more cash across the county’s bank accounts than what was recorded. No money was missing but the issue of an inaccurate account balance is a concern for voters. What would you recommend that the county do to prevent future mistakes?
Continue to improve our technology.
How would you increase transparency in county government reporting?
Digitize more information and make it available on-line.
What would your top priorities be as the next county auditor?
I want to make sure that taxpayers money is well-spent and not wasted. In addition, I want to make sure that essential government services are provided despite the state-mandated revenue cuts.
What makes you qualified for the position of auditor?
My qualifications stem from three factors. First, I have nearly a decade of experience of putting together county budgets. Secondly, I have good working relationships not only with county department heads but political and local leaders in our community as well. Finally, the Auditor’s job requires executive experience which I gained as a county commissioner.
Why should voters support your candidacy?
People should seriously consider voting for me because the job is too important to trust to someone who is inexperienced and lacks the requisite temperament and judgment.
We would like to thank the candidate for taking the time to respond to our questionnaire. Click here to learn more about St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s race. Click here to learn more about the St. Joseph County Clerk’s race. Be sure to vote on Tuesday, November 4.