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Lyon County makes selection for auditor/treasurer

October 3, 2012
By Deb Gau , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - It didn't take the Lyon County Board long to make a job offer for a county auditor/treasurer candidate on Tuesday. After conducting interviews with two applicants at their regular meeting, commissioners voted to appoint E.J. Moberg to the position.

If he accepts, Moberg will serve as auditor/treasurer until the end of the office's current elected term in 2014.

The county advertised for the auditor/treasurer's position after Auditor/Treasurer Paula VanOverbeke announced her retirement in September. Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said the county received a total of four applicants, but two withdrew. The remaining two candidates were Paul Freeburg, a senior accountant with the Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer's Office, and E.J. Moberg, an audit director with the state auditor's office.

Moberg is an audit director with the state auditor's office and has worked with Lyon County in the past. He became a CPA in 2001, and he said as part of his job he has also acted as a supervisor for staff members preparing audits.

"I think it's a great opportunity," Moberg said of the auditor/treasurer's position. He said the job might offer a more steady workload throughout the year, as opposed to the crunch of audit season.

Freeburg has worked for the county since 2005. His duties have ranged from preparing the county for audits to helping collect property taxes.

"I enjoy the duties of the office," Freeburg said, "and I would like to contribute to the community." He said appointing him could help make the transition to a new auditor/treasurer a smooth one.

Both Moberg and Freeburg said they would be willing to learn aspects of the auditor/treasurer's job they were unfamiliar with, like running county elections.

As part of the interview, Freeburg and Moberg were asked their opinion on the county auditor/treasurer being made an appointed position, instead of an elected one. Members of the county board have expressed an interest in having an appointed auditor/treasurer, said board chairman Bob Fenske.

The candidates said there were pros and cons to both possibilities. Freeburg said an elected auditor/treasurer "would have some independence still," although by appointing the auditor/treasurer, the county could have more say over their job qualifications. Moberg said there were positives and negatives both ways, but he would support the board's decision on the matter.

After interviewing both candidates, Commissioner Steve Ritter moved that the county offer the position to Moberg. Ritter said he was an advocate for having a CPA in the office, although Freeburg was also a good candidate.

"Paul has done a wonderful job for the county," Ritter said.

Commissioners voted unanimously to offer the position to Moberg.

Later in the meeting, commissioners discussed possible salary offers for Moberg. Stomberg said Tuesday that the board decided to make an offer of $80,000.



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