A longtime DeKalb County treasurer, who’s been reelected seven times over the past nearly 25 years, will retire Dec. 11, according to a news release.
Christine J. Johnson announced her retirement in a news release this week. She was appointed to the office in 1994 and has served longer than any other treasurer since the founding of DeKalb County in 1937, according to the release.
“I have been privileged to serve the taxpayers and citizens of DeKalb County, both as their treasurer, and as their Senator,” Johnson said, who also was appointed to represent the 35th District in the Illinois State Senate in 2011, to serve the remainder of J. Bradley Burzynski’s term through 2013.
During her tenure as treasurer, she has seen many changes and said she’s made many improvements in the office, both in technology and procedural security. When Johnson took office, all the computer processing of tax levies, tax bill calculations, and printing were done in Kane County. Tax bills were picked up in Geneva, and brought back to the Treasurer’s Office in Sycamore where they were hand-stuffed for mailing.
Since then, DeKalb County is now a design-development partner with Devnet, a Sycamore-based company, for an in-house property tax billing and collection system now in use by more than 60 Illinois counties.
Johnson implemented the first real estate tax payment options for accepting credit cards, debit cards, and electronic payments online, the release states. Recently, she implemented a Treasurer’s Helpline, where callers can be directly connected with the tax office who can best answer their questions.
She instituted DeKalb County’s first written investment policy. She has earned $25 million in interest on the county’s investments for the benefit of the taxpayers and earned $4 million in interest that was distributed back to the other taxing districts in the county.
“I am pleased that we were able to provide those interest funds so that our citizens were able to benefit from additional services without additional taxes,” Johnson said.
She said she’s proud to have served as a Republican Precinct Committeeman for more than 36 years. She also served two terms as vice chairman of the DeKalb County Republican Central Committee, and as their secretary.
In 2013, she returned to DeKalb County and was once again appointed county treasurer.
“I have been blessed to work with an incredible group of elected officials, department heads, and employees,” Johnson said.
“I intend to continue my service and give back to the citizens in other ways that benefit our community.”