The Franklin County office of public administrator is not a high-profile office. But it’s a necessary office, and we have two competent candidates on Tuesday’s ballot.
The candidates are Republican Julie Bowen and Democrat Mary Jo Straatmann. Each would be new to the office. The incumbent, Carol Eckelkamp, is retiring from the office after nearly 20 years.
The primary role of the public administrator is to care for county residents who are unable to care for themselves and who need a representative in legal matters. Probate court appoints the public administrator to represent more than 100 people each year, acting as their guardian or conservator to ensure they are cared for in a proper manner.
Both candidates have administrative experience. Both are competent. Bowen’s experience in the financial sector is an asset. Straatmann is uniquely qualified since she is a paralegal who has drafted and filed probate court pleadings and financial settlements. She has worked closely with guardians, conservators and personal representatives and assisted them in their work.
Straatmann has the edge in experience in matters more closely related to the office.