McHenry County treasurer to retire, endorses former County Board member as replacement

Glenda Miller has been McHenry County’s treasurer since 2014

McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller goes over property tax forms inside her office on May 1 in Woodstock.

McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller announced Monday she would not be seeking reelection as the county’s treasurer and endorsed former Republican County Board member Donna Kurtz to replace her.

Miller will retire at the conclusion of her term in 2022 following eight years as the county’s treasurer and 18 years before that as the county’s chief deputy treasurer. Miller, 66, said she wanted to find a person to run as her replacement for the job before officially announcing her retirement.

“I have a staff I hired and my former boss hired and they know the office,” Miller said. “I just want to make sure whoever is going to replace me won’t destroy it.”

Miller, a Republican, said after working to find someone she felt could best continue her work, she decided to endorse Kurtz, who announced Monday she would run for treasurer in 2022.

“I felt like this was an opportunity to contribute to the county and bring my skills of people management and financial management and my background in government to protect our financial resources,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz, a Crystal Lake resident, served eight years on the County Board until 2018 and previously spent five years as a trustee on the McHenry County College board until 2010. She currently works in the private sector as a regulatory affairs consultant for a banking company and previously worked in business and financial management for several companies.

“I didn’t have plans to take on this job,” Kurtz said. “This was not something that was part of the scheme of my life. When this opportunity came up, I thought how am I going to feel if I don’t contribute by skills to maintain the great work Glenda has established for the county.”

Candidates running for office in 2022 can begin gathering signatures from voters to appear on the primary ballot starting Jan. 13. Other county offices up for reelection in 2022 include all County Board seats, the clerk, sheriff and regional superintendent of education. The 2022 Republican primary will be held June 28 before the November general election.

McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim also announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking another term and endorsed a successor.

Kurtz said she thinks Miller appropriately managed the county’s financial resources and provided a good return on the county’s investments. If elected, she said she plans to continue to maximize every dollar.

“When you’re a business woman, when you get involved in public service, you’re always thinking about the financial value of every dollar you’re managing,” Kurtz said. “You’re always thinking how are you creating value with this dollar for the county.”

When on the County Board, Kurtz was often critical of some of the county’s government agencies for spending too much on administration and not enough on the work the agency was doing. She frequently butted heads with the Mental Health Board over the size of its budget and how it spent it.

“I can’t underscore the value of being honest with people even when it’s difficult,” Kurtz said “I think it’s a hallmark of my years of service in the county. That’s why I had to take some really strong stances.”

Looking back on her time as treasurer, Miller said she’s most happy with how she was able to help people, especially seniors, complete their property taxes and work through appeals and exemptions.

Miller said one of the more disappointing moments of her tenure was refunding $15 million from Valley Hi Nursing Home to taxpayers, which former County Board Chairman Jack Franks, a Democrat, said was important to do because the county facility had a surplus.

“[Valley Hi] takes good care and it’s a good facility, and it just hurt me to see they were going to take away what the taxpayers paid into it,” Miller said.

She said she wished more people saw the value of those dollars at work at Valley Hi before deciding to take them away..