By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Claudia Stuppy, the first Republican elected to county office in 22 years, officially turned Ste. Genevieve County Collector duties over to Kim Gielow at the end of last week.
Gielow, who also ran as a Republican, defeated Susan Mueller in the November 2022 election by a 68.5% to 31.5% margin. She had been shadowing Stuppy in the collector’s office since December, preparing to take over.
Stuppy beat Democrat Patty Naeger 60.4% to 39.4% in November 2018, to win the collectorship.
“It’s been a busy four years,” Stuppy said. “There’s been so much going on, even tough my time was short.”
Stuppy said the job wasn’t exactly what she had expected.
“It’s been different,” she said. “You don’t know until you’ve worked in this office, how much work goes on year-round. We are busy all year round between tax bills, delinquent tax bills, preparing for tax sales. There’s always something going on.”
Gielow is eager to assume duties.
“I’m ready to step in and look forward to working with the taxpayers and other offices in the courthouse,” she said. “Everyone has been very welcoming to me.”
Stuppy plans to move out of county and pursue other work.
She is confident that Gielow will be able to step in and do a good job.
“She’s been in the office since early December, so she’s definitely been getting het feet wet,” Stuppy said
Stuppy outlined some of her accomplishments in office.
“During my four years I worked hard to update the office and improve its efficiency,” she said. “I believe the changes I’ve made have reduced errors.
“By outsourcing the printing and mailing of tax bills, this presented us an opportunity to work to reduce errors on escrow payments and also provided an electronic option for tax statements.”
She also implemented a drop box for citizens to drop off their taxes without having to come inside thee courthouse, and switched credit card processors to save the customers money – anywhere from 20 to 91% in convenience fees.