2021 treasurer candidates for El Paso and Teller counties

From left to right:  Teller County Treasurer Mark Czelusta, El Paso County Deputy Treasurer Gina Trivelli, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman 

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman and county Deputy Treasurer Gina Trivelli will face each other in the race for treasurer in 2022.

Broerman and Trivelli, both Republicans, have registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to succeed El Paso County Treasurer Mark Lowderman, who cannot run for re-election next year because of term limits. So far, no Democratic candidate has registered to run for the seat.

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The treasurer’s office collects county funds as well as property taxes. In late 2019, the state consolidated all services related to public trustee functions into the county treasurer’s office. The public trustee is a service that protects those who have borrowed money to buy properties, as well as lienholders and lenders.

Broerman has served the last six-and-a-half years as El Paso County’s clerk and recorder. In 2011 he joined the clerk and recorder's staff in the county motor vehicle department, where he worked as operations manager and interim motor vehicle manager before he was appointed chief deputy in 2013. He was elected clerk and recorder in 2014 and won his bid for re-election in 2018, but cannot run for re-election to that office in 2022 because of term limits.

In that position, Broerman consolidated department costs and saved $1 million to upgrade the county’s election system, which was 20 years old when he first took office, he said. He also expanded services in the motor vehicle office, increasing online services and installing 10 vehicle registration renewal kiosks throughout the county.

“In many ways I brought my engineering, logistic, leadership and forward-thinking skills to the table," he said. "I’m bringing to my bid for county treasurer these skills to motivate, problem solve and create a clear vision in the treasurer’s office."

If elected treasurer, Broerman said he wants to oversee the office’s ongoing transition to a new, digitized software to better work with the public, and sustain the working relationship between the El Paso County treasurer, assessor and clerk and recorder’s offices, he said.

Trivelli is El Paso County’s current deputy treasurer, a position she has held since 2018. She has worked in the county treasurer’s office since October 2001, where she has also been a paralegal, tax compliance coordinator and tax compliance administrator. As deputy treasurer, Trivelli oversees tax collection and the annual tax lien sale, which sells liens on a property to a buyer who can then collect delinquent monies owed, she said.

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“Being a tax collector is not the most popular job in the world. People can lose their homes if they haven’t paid their taxes or have defaulted on their mortgages. You have to have compassion in this position,” she said.

Like Broerman, Trivelli wants to help lead the department through its transition to modernized technology, including a new computer system upgrade that will enhance communication and information sharing. It’s part of efforts the office took in recent years to better serve the public, she said. When Lowderman assumed office in 2014, the department didn’t have the necessary technology to accept credit card payments. That system has since been upgraded, she said.

Her other priorities include continuing good working relationships among the office’s staff. Trivelli highlighted low employee turnover rates as one of Lowderman’s accomplishments in office, one she said she hopes to continue.

In Teller County, Treasurer Mark Czelusta will run for a second term next year. A retired Air Force colonel and former financial adviser, Czelusta was first elected to the office in 2018.

Currently, he faces no challengers for the position.

“I promised four years ago that the people of Teller County would have quiet excellence in the treasurer’s office,” Czelusta said. “I wanted everything to be balanced to the penny. That’s what we’ve done, and that’s the type of attention to detail I’m bringing to the office.”

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The Republican touted his work over the last couple of years, including collecting and delivering property tax according to state statute, and digitizing the department’s tax distribution system so it’s now paperless, more convenient and secure. His office also used $7.3 million of county-held funds to construct a new Teller County Sheriff’s Department headquarters in Divide debt-free, and he’s fostered good relationships with the Teller County assessor, sheriff, clerk and recorder, commissioners, and local school, fire and water districts, he said.

If re-elected, Czelusta’s priorities include working with residents affected by the end of the foreclosure moratorium on federally backed mortgages, enacted to support homeowners during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. The moratorium ends July 31.

“Our office needs to be prepared to respectfully navigate this process while making sure we meet the needs of the lender and are understanding of the homeowner,” he said. “We could see a spike in foreclosure actions, so I’m working with staff to make sure we’re prepared for that scenario.”

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Breeanna Jent covers El Paso County government. She previously worked as the editorial assistant for the Pikes Peak Newspapers and joined their sister paper, The Gazette, in 2020.

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