Three people have filed their declarations of candidacy with Kosciusko County Republican Central Committee Chairman Mike Ragan for the Winona Lake clerk-treasurer position as of Tuesday.
The three candidates (alphabetically) are Daniel Anderson, Paul DeRenzo and Laurie A. Renier.
The clerk-treasurer position became vacant after the Dec. 19 death of Kent Adams, 85. A Republican caucus will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at Winona Lake Town Hall to elect a new clerk-treasurer. Deadline to file a declaration of candidacy with Ragan is 72 hours prior to the caucus.
Compensation for the clerk-treasurer in 2020 was $57,483.06, according to Indiana Gateway.
Daniel Anderson grew up in the Warsaw area and moved to Winona Lake 20 years ago, he said in a telephone interview.
Married with two sons – who are now grown and married themselves – he said his sons loved the lake, the trails and the town so he bought a house.
He worked 30 years at orthopedic companies, mostly at the director level. After working for a company that shifted its manufacturing plans, Anderson said he’s been looking for a good fit for a job and where he can be more involved in the Winona Lake community.
If chosen as the clerk-treasurer, he said it would be his first government job. He has had jobs where he was responsible for budgets in the millions of dollars, and not only put them together but also executed and tracked those budgets.
“I love Winona Lake. I traveled a lot of places over the last 30 years and Winona Lake was always a great place to come back to. I love it, my family loves it. Whenever they come back, they always say how much it’s meant to them,” Anderson said.
He said the clerk-treasurer position would be a great fit for him with his management skills, background and his desire to get involved in Winona Lake.
Paul DeRenzo was born and raised in Detroit, Mich., and came to Winona Lake in 1987 to take a position at Grace College & Seminary in food services.
He also received his master’s degree in 1994 from Grace.
Asked why he was seeking the clerk-treasurer’s position, DeRenzo said he was asked by someone to run.
“A colleague of mine who worked at Grace said Kent Adams had passed and the position was open and my name was mentioned,” he said. “I love to serve. I was a servant leader at Grace for 32 years. I just love to serve.”
He said if he was chosen to serve in the position it would be a way for him to serve the town and a neat way for him to give back to the town that’s blessed him and his family.
He and his wife, Donna, have been married for 43 years this June. They have three daughters and 10 grandchildren.
DeRenzo said he doesn’t have any government experience, but he was a department head at Grace College where he had to set and run budgets and research costs and expenses.
He’s only had two jobs in his life, including 12 years at a restaurant and then 32 years at Grace. In 2019, Grace had a reduction in force, or otherwise he said he would still be there.
“I’ve worked in for-profits and nonprofits and the town is a nonprofit,” he said.
DeRenzo said he loves numbers and math.
He and his family attend Pleasant View Bible Church.
Laurie A. Renier started working part-time in the Winona Lake clerk-treasurer’s office in January 2016 and is a full-time deputy clerk-treasurer.
She previously worked for Kosciusko County government for 28 years, starting in 1986 in reassessment for Avis Gunter, Renier said. She then worked her way up in every deputy position.
Renier ran for county assessor in 2001 after the death of Sharon Thompson, and Renier served in that position until December 2014.
She stayed home to take care of her mother for a time, but one day when she went into the Winona Lake Town Hall to pay a bill, she was asked if she would be interested in a job. That part-time job started in 2016 and “here I am” now, Renier said.
“I enjoy that work. In any job, I enjoy helping people. I always have,” Renier said.
In information she also provided, she said she would like the opportunity to serve the residents of Winona Lake as clerk-treasurer.
Born in Decatur, Ind., she grew up on a family farm in Clay Township. She graduated from Warsaw Community High School in 1986. She resides in Winona Lake with her husband, Gary, and two daughters, Olivia, 19, and Hilary, 14. They are members of Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church.