One Monticello Life – Andrea Huskey, Candidate for Drew County CollectorSeptember 17th, 2012 by Caleb Burger
When growing up, everyone faced difficult decisions and wondered how their choice would pan out. Many 18 year olds raise the question “Can I do this?”, when faced with overwhelming obstacles. As people grow older they begin to develop more self-confidence.
When someone continues on for 25 more years that self-confidence becomes a part of who they are, and “Can I do this?” no longer remains the question. “I can do this!” becomes the mentality of the person.
“I’ve not always been a leader; I think the older I’ve gotten and the more knowledge and experience I’ve gotten behind me, my confidence has built to the level that I think leadership is something that I’d be good at. Your ability to lead, obviously, will be greater the older you get and depending on the values and work ethics you put into building a character that allows you to lead,” Andrea Huskey said.
“What I got growing up that built my character was discipline,” Huskey said. “My dad was the type that we didn’t lie around and watch cartoons on Saturday morning; we were out doing something.”
Huskey grew up with three brothers in Lake Village and went to school at Montrose Academy, a private school just outside Lake Village. She said she didn’t participate in many extracurricular activities growing up; most of her time was spent with family. “We worked together and played together,” she said, “building strong family bonds.”
“I’d been going to the fields with mom for several years and I guess at 9-years-old my dad thought I was old enough to pitch in. So we did.” All four of the kids worked on the farm. “When you’re growing up at 9-years-old you think, ‘Nothing can be more horrible than that,’ but I can look back now and know how valuable that was for me. My parents were great in the fact that they stuck to raising us that way with those conservative values and work ethic that they instilled in us.”
A good, strong work ethic developed out of that part of her life growing up. At age 18, Huskey moved out of her home and began working at a bank in the bookkeeping department. She said it wasn’t the most wonderful job but still wanted to learn everything she could, so she moved around to most every department. She eventually learned enough to receive a promotion to assistant vice president and loan officer where she spent a few years and developed about a $5 million dollar portfolio consisting of loans from start to finish.
The hiring process for the job at hand depends on the voters of Drew County. They will hire the tax collector they see most fit, who will then work for them for at least two years, which marks the end of a term.
Drew County’s sheriff took the responsibility of collector in the past but now the two roles will split. This put the position of collector on the ballot for the first time in Drew County.
The responsibilities of collector resemble the title. After the assessor’s office taxes citizens, the collector collects county, municipal, school and improvement district taxes. The collector must also collect all the property taxes in the county. When taxes are collected they must be turned over to the treasurer. The tax collector must keep up with delinquent taxes too, which must be paid before the citizen can be assessed for the current year.
Since the collector is an elected position now, all candidates must go through the campaign and election process to receive their votes that could put them in office. “When running for office and asking people for their vote, the one thing that you owe them is to respect yourself, the position and the voters. And you do that by living with character.”
Huskey said that when the end of the workday presents itself and you leave the courthouse that doesn’t entitle you to be able to do what you want. “You’re still an elected official and you still owe it to the voters to maintain some form of respectability,” she said.
Huskey said when debating on running or not, a question to decide on was “What is it that I owe the people?” The job definitely, which will get done, but the citizens and voters of Drew County also deserve respect, she said.
“It’s a determination to get in there and do what has to be done, and I think I’ve always had that,” she said.
In regards to her strengths for this position, Huskey said, “I think that would be 24 years of knowledge, experience, and things I’ve accomplished. I went from working on a farm at 18, starting at a bank, and moving to assistant vice president and loan officer. I think that in itself speaks for my work ethic and my ability to learn. After that I spent 12 years in an accounting department at a paper mill. It was a company that did yearly reviews and I received 12 good reviews. That tells me they appreciated the work I did for them.”
If elected this will be Huskey’s first work experience in a tax office. She said that doesn’t mean she cannot do it though. “I never worked at a bank before, but I did it; I never worked in a paper mill but I did it. And I think I did it well; the end result proves that.”
Huskey said professionalism, efficiency and cost effectiveness stood at the top of the priority list. Considering this position would provide her with a first-time experience, she said her goal would be to learn how things have always been done and then make decisions on anything she saw that could be improved or made more cost effective.
“There are things I think you can always look at in any office or any job to make things better, more efficient and cost effective, and those would be the things I would look at,” Huskey said. She also said what excites her most is serving the Drew County citizens and working hard for them, which she said she owes to them.
Huskey proved herself as a worker ever since she was young. She said she could remember stories her mother would tell about how she would come home and find everything clean and put away. “I wanted to cook with her and things like that; I wanted to learn that side of it. It wasn’t a hobby but it was what my mother did.” She said it is about working hard, trying to do for your family and maintaining the peace in your family. “That’s what my mom was good at,” she said.
“My mother is the most admired adult in my life,” she said. Huskey pulls not only knowledge and life lessons from her mother but also inspiration. She also gains inspiration from her daughter; Huskey said she wants to live her life and achieve her goals to be an inspiration for her daughter.
With all the admiration, inspirations and life lessons, Huskey now wants to work hard and provide for the citizens of Drew County. She said prior to running for this position she discussed everything with her family and with their support decided to try to win so she could be in that position to help Drew County.
After a hard day’s work everyone needs to decompress and relax. Huskey said just spending time with her daughter and talking and listening, watching movies or helping with her homework is her way to do so.
Family time is the way you decompress after a long days work, she said.
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