During a crazy six week election cycle like this one, you will hear many candidates try and make promises of what they will do if selected as the next State Treasurer for Utah. You will also hear some candidates try to make their political or professional experience relevant to the job. Even if you decide to not select Chip Dawson as a candidate, it is my responsibility to do all that I can to help you fully understand what the State Treasurer of Utah DOES and DOES NOT do. For further reading, please see the Utah State Constitution, Article VII, Section 15 and Utah Code Annotated 67-4.
The State Treasurer DOES NOT determine taxes In Utah, that is the responsibility or the Utah Legislature and County Assessors.
The State Treasurer DOES NOT set budgets for the State of Utah, it’s departments, or divisions. The State Treasurer only has budget authority over their office. Avoid any candidate who is trying to make budgeting – especially corporate or personal budgeting – as a benchmark of their qualifications. The processes used in government performance based budgeting are different.
The Utah State Treasurer’s office has a small staff of dedicated career public servants. Any candidate looking to make staffing changes would be trying to replace decades of technical and financial experience that has guided the State to be the best managed state. Instead, find a public treasurer who is ready to work with staff on day one.
The State Treasurer DOES issue bonds for the State of Utah. The State has “AAA” credit rating. Fun fact: The only city in the State of Utah with a “AAA” credit rating? South Jordan City. Chip was part of the team that helped accomplish that. Read Here: https://www.sjc.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Fitch-Affirms-South-Jordan-UTs-Sales-Tax-Revs-and-Refunding-B.pdf
BONDABLE – SURETY BONDS
Public treasurers must be able to qualify for public surety bonds. Past criminal history and financial history can affect the ability to issue a bond. You should seek a treasurer candidate that is bondable. Chip Dawson has had a public treasury surety bond for the past four years.
BANKING and INVESTMENTS
The State Treasurer manages cash flow and banking for the State of Utah. The management of public funds requires internal controls, of which Chip is the only candidate to be certified for internal controls by the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada (APTUSC). Much of the excess cash is invested, but in some ways that are completely unique to government. Chip is the only candidate to hold both a Certified Public Funds Investment Manager AND an Advanced Certified Public Funds Investment Manager from the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada (APTUSC).
By design the Utah State Treasurer’s office is to be independent of other government officers. Avoid any candidate who only wants to use their “political connections” to enhance the office. The role will be to work with elected officials to bring positive changes, while maintain those important barriers between the different functions of government. The job is technical and requires an extensive government finance background. Rather, look for a candidate that already has sworn an oath to uphold the the US Constitution and the laws of Utah, has worked with elected officials to accomplish their goals, and trains other public treasurers. Like Chip Dawson has done.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR?
- Strong government finance and treasury experience.
- Education in business administration and public administration.
- Public treasury, controls, and investment credentials.
- Someone working towards becoming a Certified Public Treasurer (CPT) in 2021 like Treasurer Damschen is.
- Clearly understands and doesn’t misrepresent the role of the Utah State Treasurer.