New Barton County Treasurer Jim Jordan raised his right hand and took the oath of office from County Clerk Donna Zimmerman early Tuesday morning.
“We’re open for business,” Jordan said when he was done. The office was relatively quite, but that was about to change.
It was his first day on the job and it would be baptism by fire. Before he went home, he oversaw the annual county tax sale and met with Zimmerman on the upcoming November tax role.
Jordan was elected in the general election last November, but didn’t take office until this week. According to state law, unlike other elected county officials who are who start their terms in January, the county treasurer’s term in office coincides with the county tax year.
He ran unopposed and replaces Kevin Wondra who didn’t seek reelection.
As the hours wore on Tuesday, the lines of residents needing service grew. “It has been an interesting day,” Jordan said near closing time.
But, he was excited about the new job.
“I’d like to see the culture up here change,” he said, adding he has a great staff and wants to foster a friendly office environment for county residents. “They have to come here so we need to treat them with the utmost respect.”
Jordan has plans to improve the work flow. As part of this, he plans on separating lines of customers needing title work done and those needing renewals.
Also to help with this efficiency, he wants to fully staff his office, which was down two employees. Two people have been has hired, but what they can do now is limited until they can finish their training.
Looking at the bigger picture, Jordan said he wants to make sure tax distributions and other time-sensitive duties are done in a timely manner. That has been a problem in recent years and there had been a string of run-ins between Wondra and the County Commission dating back to 2014.
“Basically, I want to bring credibility back to Barton County,” he said. Not only has the reputation of the Treasurer’s Office suffered locally, it is also tarnished at the state level as well.
Jordan has lived in Great Bend for 17 years. He had been a financial advisor with Thrivent Financial for 21 years and has owned commercial properties, including Papa Murphy’s Pizza which he sold so he could dedicate his time to his new post.