Zach Conine: Public servants can help us recover and rebuild

The public health risks caused from COVID-19 have forced us to change the ways we live, work, and interact with our families, friends and neighbors. With schools and daycares closed, parents have been forced to become classroom teachers overnight. Meanwhile, thousands of small businesses across Nevada have closed their doors in an effort to keep our community safe.

Since we’ve started staying home for Nevada, we’ve redefined what it means to be an essential member of the workforce. Countless public servants have stepped up to respond to the growing need for services. Once again, our public employees are being asked to do more with less and have still risen to the occasion.

A prime example of someone who has gone above and beyond to serve the people of this state is Stacey Mraz. A native Nevadan, Stacey began working for the State Treasurer’s Office in 1994. Stacey started her career in public service back in the days when we printed all documents in triplicate and employees had no access to a computer. For a decade, she processed checks on behalf of the state, making sure bills got paid on time, while ensuring agencies could access funds from the federal government.

In 2004, Stacey moved to the State’s Investments Division, which is responsible for managing a portfolio of roughly $3 billion. The Investments Division is an essential service for the state requiring employees to come to work by 4 a.m. every morning to invest on behalf of Nevadans. This is a high-pressure job, but every dollar the state can generate through its investments is a dollar more for vital services and a dollar less in necessary taxes.

Throughout her career, Stacey invested in building a better future for Nevada, making sure the state could always pay its bills while still earning the best yield possible. Throughout her tenure, she generated over $177 million in investment returns for the state. This money helped fund things like public education and access to affordable healthcare.

Last week marked Stacey’s last day in the Treasurer’s Office. We wish her the best as she sets off to begin her hard-earned retirement with her husband, two children, and three beautiful grandchildren. While we will miss one of our most dedicated public servants, we have all learned to never lose sight of how just one person can have such an impact on the community they serve.

We are facing one of the most challenging public health and economic situations in our history. I know that our dedicated team of state employees are ready to rise up and meet this moment. If we invest our time and energy in helping Nevada recover and rebuild, we will come back stronger.

Our public servants are on the frontlines of COVID-19, putting in long days, nights and weekends to ensure that Nevada families have access to essential services. I’m proud of the work they do every day, and I know that they, like Stacey, will do everything they can to make Nevada better for all of us.

Zach Conine currently serves as Nevada’s 23rd state treasurer.


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