It sounds like a cool social experiment, what would happen if your county treasurer’s office was run by someone with no experience and makes video games for a living? What could possibly go wrong….. Unfortunately for the residents of Kalamazoo County it’s not a social experiment, it actually happened and it’s a complete failure.
Current Kalamazoo County treasurer, Democrat Thomas Whitener has been asked to resign by the Kalamazoo County Commissioner Board Chair Mike Quinn. The Board Chair, who is also a Democrat, expressed his concerns to a local WWMT reporter at the end of December 2022.
As reported by WWMT, Chair of the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners has asked the county treasurer to resign, quoting financial issues and saying, “he does not know how to do the job.”
Issues range from millions of dollars not being invested, a recent backlog of processing receipts, and lack of reports presented to the board, Chair Mike Quinn said.
“I don’t think he has the confidence and the skill set to do the job. And the board, I believe, is pretty much unanimously against him,” Quinn said.
The county has hired accountants to assist County Treasurer Thomas Whitener and his office at $150 an hour, according to Quinn.
Just two weeks ago Former deputy treasurer Michael Budram, who was also the 2020 campaign manager for Kalamazoo County Treasurer Thomas Whitener resigned from the department.
Both Thomas Whitener and Michael Budram have no financial or accounting experience, they previously worked together as video game developers.
Elections Have Consequences
Before Thomas Whitener won his election in 2020, A local republican Mary Balkema was the longtime county treasurer. In fact Mary Balkema is the last republican to win a county wide contested election in Kalamazoo County. In 2020 Mary Balkema lost her election for County Treasurer by 2%. She managed to get 66,856 votes countywide, the most amongst all republicans on the ballot including President Trump by 10,000 votes.
Since the Democrat Party takeover of the County Treasurer’s office things have been in a financial shamble. You know it’s bad when Kalamazoo Democrats are calling for Kalamazoo Democrats to resign.
In 2024 maybe we can elect a republican to the County Treasurer’s office who has a financial background instead of a video game developer.