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Harrisburg native named Williamson County treasurer Treasurer.

Byline: HOLLY KEE staff writer

MARION -- Harrisburg native Ashley Gott will be sworn in as the new Williamson County Treasurer on April 1 and county board chairman Ron Ellis said, "he will hit the ground running."

Gott will replace Brinson Venable, who won re-election to the position in October 2018. He currently is a senior lender and commercial loan officer at the Marion branch of the Bank of Herrin.

He will leave that position on March 29.

Ellis said when Venable decided to retire, he was tasked with finding a replacement.

"I spoke to 18 different people from business owners to CPAs," Ellis said, "picking their brains for suggestions."

Ellis said over the six weeks that he searched, Gott not only stood out, but "he was the one I wanted to bring to the county board, as well as the Republican Party."

Venable's successor had to be a Republican, according to Ellis.

Gott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Southern Illinois University, and is a 1993 Harrisburg High School graduate. He's been in the banking industry for 20 years. Plus, he's no stranger to the election process.

"I'm not new to politics or government," said Gott, who is in his fourth term with the Marion Park District.

Ellis pointed out that Gott

will have to run for the office twice in four years, but he is confident that Gott understands the political side of the job.

"He already holds an elected position and his wife just ran a campaign in nine counties and won," Ellis said.

Gott's wife, Amanda Byassee Gott, defeated Union County State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds in October 2018 to become a judge in the First Judicial Circuit.

Ellis said finding the right candidate was important.

"I was looking for someone with a business background," he said. "Ashley was a perfect fit. He's been very successful in the business world, he understands financial statements and accounting, and he was willing to run for office."

Ellis also pointed out that Gott is relatively young. "He has an opportunity for the next 20 years to become a staple and bring the department into the 21st century."

Gott said he did "a bit of research" before submitting his resume to Ellis.

"I matched the skill set," he said.

Gott said that he will now need to learn the nuances of the new position but is confident that will not be a problem.

"Being in the banking industry for 20 years, I'm well aware," Gott said.

Ellis said that Venable will help with the transition, something that Gott welcomes.

"Brinson has done an awesome job," he said. "There have been two treasurers in 30 years. That says something about the office."

Bruce Troutman preceded Venable, serving for 26 years.

Ellis said Gott will have to "hit the ground running" when he takes over on April 1.

"We'll be getting ready to send out real estate bills," he said, noting that the treasurer works closely with the county clerk.

"We will have roughly 57,000 tax bills," he said. "The goal is to get those out by mid-May."

Ellis said Gott's most important new task will be to start collecting the money that comes in with the tax bills, a big job.

"Last year, we collected $83 million in real estate bills," said Ellis.

Ellis said he in confident in Gott's abilities.

"He'll do a fantastic job," he said. "I'm tickled to death and can't wait for him to come on board."

As for Gott, he plans to immerse himself in the job and rely on what he says is "a strong staff with lots of experience."
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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Mar 15, 2019
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