Longtime Dubuque County treasurer to retire

Longtime Dubuque County Treasurer Eric Stierman will retire in January.

The Democrat has been elected seven times straight and has served 27 years to date, taking office in 1994. He chalked up his decision to retirement, rather than any inciting reason.

“I’ll be 67 years old,” he said. “I’ve been working in this field for 40 years. I keep bee hives and have a lot of other interests. You have to fit everything in. I’m looking forward to doing more of that.”

The county treasurer’s office is responsible for collecting property taxes and issuing driver’s licenses and registrations, among numerous other financial duties of the county government.

Stierman, running unopposed, last was elected in 2018 for a four-year term starting in 2019. That term runs through January 2023.

County Supervisor Ann McDonough asked after the Board of Supervisors’ meeting this week why Stierman was resigning in January 2022, rather than the following year.

“The question would be why can’t he fulfill his last year,” she said.

Stierman’s answer Tuesday was simple.

“There’s one year left, but I’m done,” he said. “That’s it, really. At some point, you’re done.”

The county supervisors will have the option of appointing an acting treasurer to take the lead after Stierman retires.

“The board would need to appoint somebody to act as acting treasurer for the rest of the term,” said County Auditor Kevin Dragotto. “For that short period of time, conventional wisdom would say pick someone from inside the department.”

Should the Board of Supervisors not decide on an appointee, Dragotto said, the duties would fall under the joint purview of his and County Recorder John Murphy’s departments until someone could be elected.

Stierman said that in the 27 years he was in elected office, computer technology was the only real change to the job.

“When I first started working, we did everything in the books, physically, on paper,” he said. “Now, with computers, the things that would take me a week at one time takes me an hour.”

Otherwise, Stierman said, the duties have been steady. He said he hoped that whomever succeeds him would remain focused on the ideals that Stierman said he strove toward.

“I’ve always taken a lot of pride in how we have been there for the public,” he said. “We’ve always strived to really provide service to people in Dubuque County. That should remain the most important goal. Take care of the people who elected you.”