Don Potoczny: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Treasurer

Election 2024


Office sought: DuPage County Treasurer

City: Naperville

Age: 55

Occupation: Retired army colonel

Previous offices held: None elected


Q: Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?

A: I’m running for the office of county treasurer because I believe that we all have a duty to serve to make our nation safer and our community better. In these days of division, the future depends on renewing faith and trust in our institutions.

The county treasurer must be someone we can trust. Decades of service in uniform have forged my character. Our government and allies trusted me to make prudent recommendations and decisions. These sometimes involved enormous amounts of money, our nation’s reputation, and, most importantly, the lives of our young people serving overseas.

Throughout my life, I have chosen the hard right over the easy wrong – sometimes at significant personal risk. I can be counted on to serve selflessly and consistently. I’m not a career politician looking out for myself and my friends. I’ve taken no money from special interests or corporations. I’ve funded my campaign myself with a bit of help from friends.

Q: If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you’ve led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the position and what would your priority be?

A: My priority would be to serve the county with the energy and commitment that we should expect from our elected officials.

I have been in public service since I enlisted in the army at 18. I have been driven by a sense of duty and a desire to serve. In my long military career, I led diverse teams that addressed some of the toughest challenges in the world. I commanded the rocket artillery just 13 miles from North Korea. In Baghdad, I developed the training that prepared the Iraqi Army to retake their country. In Canada, I helped build the systems that protected their last national election from foreign interference.

I have been surprised by the lackadaisical attitude that pervades local government. Public service means consistently giving your best effort. It’s clear that the current treasurer no longer has the passion and energy that we deserve. I will never stop developing ways to improve the organization and better serve the people of DuPage County.

Q: What special qualifications does a county treasurer need that may not apply to other county offices? What professional qualifications or experiences do you possess that will help ensure your success as treasurer?

A: We need an effective executive in the office of county treasurer. I have served at the highest levels of government with our allies in Canada, Iraq and the Republic of Korea. I have led hundreds of employees, supervised thousands and set policies for tens of thousands.

One of the reasons I enjoyed serving as an army officer is the broad range of experiences. Now I bring that wealth of experience to this office as a county executive.

The treasurer hires and leads a small staff. I have served as the HR director for several organizations, including managing the careers of the 19,000 members of the artillery corps. This experience enabled me to attain certification as a senior professional in human resources.

I managed the construction of a $35 million resiliency campus at Fort Carson, Colorado. This project, and many others, qualified me to attain certification as a project management professional.

Q: Name one concrete program you’ll create or personnel move you’ll make to improve efficiency in the office or make it more successful. Explain how it will be funded and how you will overcome any obstacles to initiating it.

A: The most pressing issue for the county treasurer is the office’s outdated computer system. The current system used to process our property taxes is nearly 40 years old. Over the past four years, the county treasurer has overseen a project to replace the system. The current treasurer is clearly uncomfortable with technology. She’s never led a project like this, and that inexperience has cost the county millions, including nearly $900,000 for a PMP.

I have the perfect background to get this program back on track. I led similar software integration projects several times in overseas assignments. As a certified PMP, I know the processes needed to complete this job. A major component of a project like this is the training of the staff. In addition to my years of experience in this area, I hold a master’s degree in adult education. I’m confident that I can get this project under control, train the county staff and establish an automated system to effectively manage the county’s revenue.