Michaela Bigaouette has been working for the Marion County Treasurer’s Office for the past 18 years. With the decision of current Treasurer, Denise Emal, to retire, Bigaouette is hopeful to be her successor.
“This is my career,” Bigaouette said. “This is my livelihood.”
Bigaouette is a Knoxville High School and an AIB graduate who holds an Associate Degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. Following AIB, she worked for Principal, which took her to Colorado Springs. When the Colorado Springs office was closed, she was transferred to Kansas City. That office, too, was closed, and she went to work for the Treasuer’s Office.
At the office, she has provided fund balances to auditors. She has served as deputy treasurer for 2-5 years and her primary function is accounting. She has also worked to collect property taxes and help other County departments with receiving. Taking over as County Treasurer has been a career goal for several years.
Through her time in the office, she has seen many improvements. She praised Emal for being progressive in making technological and other efficiency improvements. Even with the volume of transactions handled by the office seeing an increase, the entire office has pulled together to handle it without adding employees and expense. The Treasurer’s Office is the busiest in the courthouse, according to Bigaouette, handling motor vehicles, driver’s licenses and property taxes.
The energy level in the office stays up because this is a small community. Bigaouette recounts how she sees the same people she helps at the counter at the grocery store and other places around town. Though the work can be complicated, the office strives to serve the public quickly.
The people are what she enjoys most about the office. She believes she has encountered everyone in Marion County at some point, in some way, by doing the job.
No new responsibilities are known to be coming to the office, but Bigaouette says she has been adapting to change for 18 years. If more changes come, she will be ready – even if notice of the change is short. The office works with the Department of Transportation (and its many divisions), the Department of Revenue Clerk of Court and Child Support Recovery, often taking orders.
“They tell us what to do, we don’t tell them,” she said. “It is a very complicated job.”
Bigaouette and her husband, Brian, live in Knoxville. She has two children. For more on her campaign, visit her Facebook page.