New Johnson County treasurer aims to meet the county’s 21st-century needs

In an interview with *The Daily Iowan*, current treasurer Tom Kriz and future treasurer Scott Finlayson reflect on working together for the past 10 years.


Matt Sindt

Johnson County Treasurer Tom Kriz and Deputy Treasurer Scott Finlayson pose for photos in the Johnson County Administration Building Dec. 2, 2022.

Alejandro Rojas, News Reporter

A new face will be leading the Johnson County Treasurer department after two decades, with current deputy treasurer Scott Finlayson taking over from Tom Kriz after winning the election in November.

Kriz, who did not run for reelection, has been the county’s treasurer for almost 24 years.

In succeeding Kriz, Finlayson said he is excited to continue working with the treasurer team to serve the county. Finlayson will start his position in January.

“It’s more than just an opportunity to serve the public, which I’m looking forward to greatly, but we have a great team here,” Finlayson said. “I look forward to growing with this team to meet the 21st-century needs of Johnson County.”

Finlayson ran uncontested on Nov. 8 and took 49,041 votes in the county, according to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office election results.

Kriz said the role acts as the bank or financial institution for the county.

“It goes into great depth handling all the funds flow through the county,” Kriz said.

Kriz said during his time as treasurer, he helped change certain things in the department, including digitizing the county’s paper documents.

One of the aspects he is most proud of has been the service he, and the rest of the treasury department, has been able to extend to the community.

“Something that we really wanted to look at was ‘How can we be more efficient? How can we deliver better service? How can we deliver quicker service?’” Kriz said. “Most of all, how could we come up with different ways to make it an OK experience to come to a government office and look for the service and needs people had.”

Regarding the service the department has offered, Finlayson said it is one of his priorities to continue the level of service Kriz started.

“The number one thing that we look for every day is trying to provide customer service at the best level we can,” Finlayson said. “Priority one is always going to be customer service.”

When deciding to not seek reelection, Kriz said his age, 75, was a significant consideration and now is the right time to step back and let someone else take over.

But, Kriz said, he has enjoyed his time working for the public.

“To be able to look back at all the people we worked with and watch their families grow, and the successes of businesses has just been a marvelous treat,” he said.

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Kriz is an Iowa City native, having spent most of his life here. He went to North Hall in Iowa City for high school when it was called University High School. According to his LinkedIn page, Kriz attended the University of Iowa from 1965-66, obtaining a degree in accounting and finance.

After college, Kriz worked at his parents’ electronics shop before going into banking. In 1998, he decided to run for treasurer.

“[I had been] involved with a couple of local banks here in town at a number of different levels doing many different things,” Kriz said. “Then, 24 years ago, I decided to run for treasurer to get involved in public service and community service through the treasurer’s office.”

Finlayson is also an Iowa native from Mason City. After high school, he joined the Navy, where he spent time serving on ships in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

While in the Navy, Finlayson applied for and was accepted into the UI. He graduated with a degree in philosophy and political science and then attended the UI College of Law.

After graduating from law school, Finlayson worked both in finance and in law, including at the county attorney’s office. He was then approached by Kriz in 2012 to join the treasury team, where the pair have worked together ever since.

When asked about his time with Kriz, Finlayson reflected on a lesson and the influence he has gotten from Kriz.

“The number one responsibility we have is to serve the public with caring and considerate customer service,” Finlayson said. “I feel very honored and lucky to have had [Kriz] as a mentor for the time he’s been here.”

Kriz said he is looking forward to not working 10 to 12 hours a day, traveling, and spending more time with his family.

“It’s a part of life that had to be put on the back burner for all the work years, and now it’s time to rekindle some of those things and hopefully enjoy it with all of them,” he said.

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