ALPENA - Alpena County Treasurer Kim Ludlow has been in office officially for only two months, but the work she had done under former Treasurer Joelyn McCallum has helped her to have a smooth transition.
Ludlow was elected to serve as the county's chief financial officer in November and she said things have gotten off to a good start, even though there are some things she is still getting accustomed to.
"Overall things have been going well," Ludlow said. "Everyone has been very supportive, helpful and encouraging. No one has gotten short with me when I do have a question, so things are going pretty good."
Ludlow said the job is exactly as she envisioned it would be when she decided to run in the 2012 election. She said there are parts of the job, however, that involve more detail than what she expected.
"It is a little more in depth than what I originally anticipated, but not a whole lot," Ludlow said. "Learning some of the different laws, rules and the way to do certain things take a little more time, but it really is pretty much what I was expecting. I enjoy it very much because it is diversified and there are a lot of different pieces here and there that need to be put together. Working with the people and the staff is rewarding as well."
Even though things appear to be going well, Ludlow admitted there are still aspects of her new job that will take some time to grasp completely. She said McCallum has made herself available from time to time to answer questions or lend advice.
"Just learning the different processes and getting everything to move fluidly is a lot of work. Where I feel I have the most to learn is the whole forclosure process. I'm just starting to get accustomed to that," Ludlow said. "I have Joelyn on speed dial and she has come in three times and kind of guides us along. She will continue to check in on us, which is nice."
The board of commissioners may have a couple new faces on it, but it also has a handful of commissioners who have been on the board for years. Their experience, particularly that of finance committee Chairman Lyle VanWormer, has helped the board and Ludlow to mesh.
"The commissioners pop in from time to time, but they aren't in the office a whole lot," Ludlow said. "They are busy doing their thing and I'm busy doing mine, but I do talk to Lyle two or three times a week to go over stuff. They have been very supportive and if I have questions, they are right there to give answers."
Two months isn't a lot of time to learn the ins and outs of a job as complex as a treasurer for a county the size of Alpena. Ludlow said she believes it will take about 12 months until she truly knows what the full demands of her job are and for her to become settled.
"In the treasurer's office there are a lot of things that happen once a year and I haven't gone through each process at least once yet," Ludlow said. "There is the forclosure process, the auction process, the budget and when the new assessed values come out, setting up the new tax role. I think I will have to go through each process before I begin to feel like I have my feet solidly on the ground, but so far I'm happy with how things are going."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.