Meet Scott Finlayson, Johnson County’s next Treasurer

New Johnson County Treasurer Scott Finlayson stands for a portrait November 21 at the Johnson County Administrative Services building in Iowa City. (Nick Rohlman/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY – Scott Finlayson is passionate about public service, and his background shows it.

Whether it’s his service in the US Navy, his years of service as a Johnson County volunteer, or his commitment to ensuring that everyone who comes through the Johnson County Treasurer’s Office has a good experience.

Finlayson, a Democrat, was elected Treasurer of Johnson County earlier this month. He ran unopposed in both the Primary and General Councils and has served in the Office of the Treasurer since 2012. He is currently the senior deputy.

“What I enjoy most is helping people and that’s the great thing about the Treasurer’s office,” said Finlayson. “You help people every day… to solve problems and to understand things.”

Finlayson of Iowa City succeeds Tom Kriz, who has served as Treasurer since 1999. Kriz is retiring and has not stood for re-election.

The Johnson County Treasurer’s Office collects and distributes property taxes, maintains bank accounts, and conducts tax sales for untaxed property. The office also includes the Motor Vehicle Department, where residents can register their cars or other vehicles.

The district treasurer will receive $121,361 in fiscal year 2023.

A service background

Finlayson was born in Waterloo and grew up in Mason City.

Finlayson served in the US Navy from 1989 to 1993. He then went to the University of Iowa, where he earned a degree in philosophy and political science in 1996 and UI College of Law in 1999.

His professional career focused on civil law and finance. He worked for the former First National Bank downtown and was an assistant district attorney handling civil affairs for Johnson County.

Finlayson has an extensive history as a community volunteer, including involvement with the Johnson County Democrats, the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, the Riverside Theater and the Johnson County National Alliance on Mental Illness.

In the past election cycle, Finlayson has been out every Saturday knocking on doors for Democratic candidates.

“I love this area and I love the city and the people,” Finlayson said.

Continuous quality of service within the office

Finlayson joined the Office of the Treasurer in 2012 and is now the Office’s Senior Deputy.

As he prepares to assume his new role, Finlayson wants to ensure the reputation and quality of service that Kriz and his staff have established is continued.

“It’s really an honor to work in this office every day,” said Finlayson.

Finlayson added that Kriz has put together a good staff and Kriz’s focus has always been to ensure a good atmosphere for staff and customers.

“That phrase ‘your work family’ is the most important thing I learned from Tom, which is that your relationships with your colleagues are the foundation of all quality service in the industry,” said Finlayson.

Finlayson’s first year as Treasurer will be focused on learning about the internal structure of the office and networking with district staff to ensure the office is as efficient as possible.

He also hopes to later find ways to streamline the transaction process and make it easier for customers.

Finlayson added that he looks forward to working with Johnson County’s other elected officials.

“I have a lot of respect for all of them,” he said. “Each of them has a unique perspective that they bring to their role, which is very valuable for a well-rounded discussion of issues.”

Something he wishes more residents knew about the Treasurer’s Office is that “every single employee cares about them and their transactions.”

“We want the transaction to go as well for the customer as the customer does,” Finlayson said.

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