Krolicki running for state treasurer | RecordCourier.com
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Krolicki running for state treasurer

by Sheila Gardner

Stateline resident Brian Krolicki joined the Nevada treasurer’s office in 1991 for what he thought would be a 90-day stint to assist newly-elected State Treasurer Bob Seale.

Now, 7-1/2 years later, Krolicki is seeking to fill the seat which Seale is vacating.

“My opportunity to be doing these things came far earlier than I desired or expected,” said the 37-year-old Krolicki. “But I find myself with the experience and an opportunity that I couldn’t walk away from. When would I have another opportunity to run for statewide office with a better foundation?”

If Krolicki is successful on Nov. 3, he will not only replace his boss, but a man who has become a close friend.

“Bob Seale is not only my boss, he’s a very dear friend,” Krolicki said. “We shared some things that will forever unite us together. Knowing Bob as well as I do, we both anticipated he would not seek re-election.”

What cemented the friendship was a tragic airplane crash during the 1990 campaign. The crash killed Seale’s wife Judy and seriously injured him and Sue Wagner who was campaigning for lieutenant governor. Krolicki was along as coordinator for Seale’s campaign volunteers.

Seale was elected treasurer and Krolicki became his chief deputy.

“When Bob took office in 1991, he still had some physical needs from the accident, and I went along to help. I really only intended to stay for the 1991 legislative session to understand how politics worked in Nevada.”

Krolicki had recently returned to the United States from work in the Middle East. He is a graduate of Stanford University and had worked for financial institutions in New York and San Francisco.

“That was right around Desert Storm and my livelihood in the Middle East was greatly diminished,” Krolicki said. “It started out to just be one legislative session and now, it’s 7-1/2 years later.”

n Proud legacy. Krolicki said he is proud of the work the treasurer’s office does for the citizens of Nevada.

“We manage the cash for the state,” Krolicki said. “In the state fiscal year, that’s $27 billion. Our job is to make sure all the monies move to the right spot, we pay the right bills and move the money as efficiently as possible through the system.

“We try to get the funds in interest-bearing accounts, even if it’s for a couple of days, it makes a difference. The last part of the treasurer’s job is debt management. We will issue the bonds on behalf of the state, and maintain the service of the debt. We manage about $2 billion of debt.”

n What does treasurer do? Krolicki said it can be difficult for people to understand exactly what the treasurer’s office does.

“It should be interesting to most people,” he said. “It’s a lot of money and it’s their money. The better we do managing it, the less fees and taxes people have to pay,” Krolicki said. “Our skills at earning the maximum amount of money on your money goes directly to the state’s bottom line.”

Krolicki said the treasurer’s office is getting good marks from the public.

“The Nevada Taxpayers Association, celebrating its 75th year anniversary, chose the Treasurer’s Office from all the agencies in the state to win their first award for good government. It’s not a front page story, but it is something we take great pride in. Very few people understand what most government agencies do, but the Nevada Taxpayers Association is comprised of people who do understand, who do follow these things.”

Krolicki said his personal philosophy is “the least government as possible, but we still need some government done as efficiently and professionally as possible.”

He overcame a Republican primary challenge from former treasurer Ken Santor in September. In November, he faces Libertarian candidate Daniel Fylstra and Independent American challenger Merritt “Ike” Yochum.

“People want to know their money is safe, that the people who deal with these billions of dollars know what they are doing. If something goes wrong, it’s on the front page. If something goes right, you probably won’t read about it in the newspaper. I am proud of the fact that we’ve kept out of the news for eight years,” he said.

Krolicki said when Seale took over in 1991, the state treasury could best be described as primitive.

n Streamlined. “What we do in the treasurer’s office today and the tools we use, it isn’t recognizable from 7-1/2 years ago. We’ve implemented technology, training and streamlined activities. We’re doing significantly more in that office and we’ve reduced staff by 22 percent and costs by 18 percent.”

The treasurer is paid $62,000 annually, but the Legislature approved raising the salary to $80,000. Still, the pay is fraction of what Krolicki might earn in the private sector with the same responsibilities.

“The average investment banker makes $200,000 to $300,000 a year,” Krolicki said. “But being the state treasurer is the ultimate professional and personal challenge. I’ve lived in New York and the Middle East. I’ve worked in big banks. I believe public service is something everyone should do if they have the opportunity. It’s not about money. It’s about feeling good about what I do.”

Krolicki has been a Douglas County resident since 1985. He is also a member of the Douglas County Planning Commission. He and his wife, Kelly, welcomed their first child, Katherine Ayn, in May. Kelly Krolicki is employed by Hornblower Cruises.

“I live here in Douglas County. I far prefer that to New York City. Now, I have a family and as state treasurer, I can go home most nights. If I can keep my family as my priority, and still pursue my professional and political passions, I am a lucky guy, indeed,” Krolicki said.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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