New treasurer proud of community involvement
February 28, 2014
Travel in and out of the U.S. has made newly appointed Carroll County Treasurer Jean Seidl more fully appreciate her rural Iowa home in Dedham - and recognize the need for community involvement to keep such small towns alive.
Seidl and her husband, Mike, general contractor and owner of Seidl Construction in Dedham, are active in St. Joseph Catholic Parish, were co-chairs for the central committee of Dedham's 125th anniversary celebration and have helped with the Dedham-Willey Little League more than 25 years.
She and Mike were both trained as first responders for the Dedham community. She retired last year, but Mike, their oldest son and a son-in-law continue to serve as volunteer firefighters.
"It takes everybody in the community to keep these small towns going," she said.
Seidl was sworn in as treasurer on Jan. 2, replacing Peggy Weitl, who had been with the office since 1975.
Seidl joined the office in 1999, two years into Weitl's tenure as treasurer. She worked in the motor-vehicle and property-tax collection departments before rising to the rank of deputy treasurer. Weitl recommended Seidl for the treasurer position when she resigned.
The move has left her increasingly focused on the financial side of the office, she said. Duties include investing the county's money and keeping watch over the county's roughly 20 bank accounts, through which funds are constantly moving.
She has also taken on office management responsibilities. Seidl said she has been "blessed" with a great staff, some of whom have held their positions even longer than she.
"Everyone knows their job, and everyone pulls their weight," said Seidl.
Joining the team is Donna Pietig, hired as motor-vehicle clerk to fill the vacancy left in the treasurer's office.
Seidl said the office is most publicly visible through property-tax collections and the motor-vehicle desk, adding that she and her employees are striving to provide solid customer service.
"We want to counter that stereotype of government workers sitting behind their desks not doing anything," she said. "We want people to leave, maybe not happy they had to pay taxes, but happy with their interactions."
The 57-year-old was born in Cherokee, but moved to Carroll as a child with her mother, father and five brothers. She graduated from Kuemper Catholic High School in 1974 and married Mike in 1977. They have five children, ranging in age from 18-year-old John, who played on this year's Kuemper championship football team, to 35-year-old Michaela of Omaha, Neb., the only to leave Iowa. They also have eight grandchildren.
Before joining the treasurer's office, Seidl worked as secretary at the Dedham-Willey School for 10 years until it closed, then as a secretary at Carroll High School for 10 years.
Though they can watch baseball games from their back porch, as their property abuts Dedham's baseball diamond, football is the favorite sport of the household, with Mike rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs and Seidl rooting for the Denver Broncos.
"I got a lot of ribbing after the Super Bowl (Broncos' loss to the Seattle Seahawks), but I'm still a fan," she said with a laugh.
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