With elections right around the corner, Otter Tail County auditor/treasurer, Wayne Stein has been busy. The 61-year-old Fergus Falls resident has been with the county for over three decades and continues to put forth maximum effort as he tries to help county residents with their questions. We sat down with Stein to ask him about his job duties, what his daily routine is and what he enjoys about his work.
Q: How long have you been in the job?
A: I started 1983, I was elected 1990. So I have been in the county since 1991. I don’t remember when I got the treasurer tagged on (laughs).
Q: What are your job duties?
A: There is a lot of them. The office is responsible for administration of the elections. Also financial activities of the county, taxes collect and oversight on finances. We are also connected to land transfers, we process land transfers, make sure there are no delinquent taxes and make sure people are in compliance of county ordinances. We are also involved with ditches and lake improvements, investments and motor vehicle and driver licenses. So, a wide range of different activities.
Q: What is your daily routine?
A: I don’t know if it is always the same. First thing I do during the day is clean up emails from the day before. The last few days we are looking at ballots and proofing them. On Friday, we looked at some contracts based on property taxes. Typically, I like to get here before 8 a.m. and organize my day and do my research. Then it is just into a variety of different projects. I have a big to do list for each day.
Q: What is the most difficult part of your job?
A: For me, if I didn’t have a good staff like I do, I believe managing staff would be. But I would say the most difficult part is trying to do more than I am able to do in a given day and trying to get it done. I need to be better at delegating tasks (joked).
Q: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
A: Many years ago, the former county auditor stated that he enjoyed serving the public and I took that to heart. I really enjoy working with people and trying to help them. I have an accountant background, so I enjoy working with property taxes. Another thing I enjoy is when I get to go out to do election training. That is what I am here for, is to serve the public.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
A: That is one of my weaknesses. I seem to spend my time here at the county offices. Work is kind of my thing. I hope to one day have a garden again. I grew up on a farm so I have some experience there. I do enjoy spending time with my grandchild and I like the outdoor activities.