Incumbent Salem treasurer facing challenge this year [The Roanoke Times, Va.]
(Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 26--The race for city treasurer is the only contested local race Salem voters will see on their ballots on Nov. 5.
Incumbent Bonnie McCormack is being challenged by Danielle Crawford in a race that pits a local government veteran against a political newcomer. Both are running as independents.
McCormack, 65, has been Salem's treasurer since 2004, when she was named to the post on an interim basis after the retirement of Josephine Blankenship. Before that, McCormack had worked in Salem for 14 years as a deputy clerk and the chief deputy treasurer.
McCormack won a four-year term in 2005, when she defeated Douglas Duffy, and she ran unopposed in 2009. She said that she prefers running her department rather than running a campaign.
"I am not a political person at all," McCormack said. "It's just me, doing a job here. My office is always open. Anyone who has a question can come talk to me and I make time for them."
She cites her experience as a primary reason she should receive another term as treasurer. Before working in Salem, McCormack was a deputy clerk to Roanoke County's treasurer in the 1980s.
"I go by the codes set forth by the state of Virginia and I know how to work with other city offices," McCormack said. "On a day-to-day basis, I like working with city taxpayers on whatever their situation may be."
She said that recently she has worked closely with the city's information technology department during the city's implementation of a new computer system that will streamline the way bills are paid.
Crawford, 38, is an accounts manager for FastSigns, a national sign and banner company with offices in Salem and Roanoke. She said that, if elected, she would work to improve the efficiency of the treasurer's office and increase the department's collection rate.
"I feel that the office needs leadership," Crawford said. "That office could improve its customer service and its timeliness when it comes to collection of revenues."
Crawford said that she reduced the number of unpaid accounts at her business by 50 percent in the past two years.
"I'm a go-getter and hard-working," she said. "I would bring enthusiasm to that job. Working for the citizens would be an honor that I would not take lightly."
Crawford, who is married to Salem's clerk of Circuit Court, Chance Crawford, said that she has received encouragement from her boss, Bill Jones, who is also a Salem city councilman.
"He did not encourage me to run, because I knew months ago that I would be running for this position," Crawford said, "but he knows that I can do this."
All other local races feature incumbents who are unopposed -- Thomas Bowers for commonwealth's attorney, Ric Atkins for sheriff and Linda Carroll for commissioner of the revenue.
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