33 years of service


SIDNEY – After working 33 years for the Shelby County Treasurer’s Office, Linda Meininger is serving her final day as county treasurer on Thursday, Aug.31.

“I don’t think it really hit me until about the last month that I would not be here forever,” Meininger said about retiring. “I wasn’t ready to leave. … I have a passion for this job. I love this job.”

For the last 14 years, Meininger has been the Shelby County Treasurer, and before that she served as a deputy treasurer. But her defeat by John Coffield in the 2016 election brings her time in the Treasurer’s Office to a close.

All treasurer’s terms run from September to September, Meininger said. This gives the incumbent treasurer an opportunity to get the books balanced after collecting taxes in February and July, she said. Also, September is the office’s slow period and makes for a good transition time for an incoming treasurer.

Meininger was first employed in the Treasurer’s Office in 1985, when her father, Gerald Billings, was retiring as county treasurer and his replacement, Mary Ellen Allenbaugh took over. Meininger said she immediately fell in love with the job. Then later, when Allenbaugh retired, she filed a petition to follow in her father’s footsteps by running for the position.

It was a time before computers on everyone’s desk when Meininger began at the Treasurer’s office. She recalled writing everything by hand. When she started she said in the office they printed, stuffed envelopes and sorted all bills, by area code, to be mailed out. Now the Treasurer’s Office uses SmartBill company to print and mail out the county’s bills.

Meininger said other than technology changes, the Treasurer’s Office also has had physical changes. She said they changed the office’s location from the first floor up to the third floor of the Shelby County Annex, after Job and Family Services moved to a new building. Also, currently, the building’s HVAC system is being upgraded and a security system is being installed.

Although her father’s methods as treasurer were not necessarily passed down, she said it was nice to be able to bounce things off him. Meininger appreciated that he truly understood her work and was able to ask him questions if she found herself in a dilemma. She said he remembered “anything he had read” and there were times when he offered her advice on where to find answers in the Ohio Revised Code off the top of his head.

“My father always taught us there wasn’t anything you couldn’t do, if you work hard. He said, ‘you go in there and give that man a full day of work because he is giving you a full day of pay. You’ll never have to worry; you’ll always have a job,’ He always taught my brother, sister and I that,” Meininger recalled about her first job and where her work ethic derives from.

When asked what she will miss, other than co-workers, said she said working on the land bank.

“I am going to miss the land bank. It took a lot to get it set up …” said Meininger of which she is a committee member. “I will be there when the first house comes down.”

The Shelby County Land Reutilization Corporation (SCLRC) or land bank project calls for demolition of vacant, deteriorating houses. In 2016, Meininger said helped to organize SCLRC by applying for state grant money that yielded $2 million to address vacant and abandoned buildings in Shelby County. Most of the buildings to be demolished are in Sidney, Meininger said.

Also since 2012, Meininger said they were able to lower delinquency rates through a contract with the company TaxEase of Ohio, who purchases taxes the county cannot collect. Delinquent tax payers pay TaxEase.

“I’ve probably worked with the best people you could ever work with. We’ve shared in everybody’s joy, and everybody’s (hard times). We are like a family. I will definitely miss them. Especially the three in my office,” Meininger said.

Meininger intends to take a little time off with no specific plans, but will continue public service in the future. Change will take a some time, she said, but she will finally be able to attend her granddaughter’s gymnastic events. Also, she will have more time to devote to CASA, Kiwanis, and as liaison between the Shelby County United Way and the POWER group, as well as the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA.

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Former Shelby County Treasurer Jolene Aselage, left, of Sidney, gives the outgoing Shelby County Treasurer Linda Meininger a hug during Meininger’s retirement party. The party was held in the Shelby County Treasurer’s Office Wednesday, Aug. 30. People lined up to wish Meininger well. Democratic Committee Chairman for Shelby County Tom Kerrigan presented Meininger with a plaque. Shelby County Commissioners Bob Guillozet and Tony Bornhorst presented Meininger with a proclamation. Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst also stopped by to wish Meininger well.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/08/web1_SDN083117MeiningerRet.jpgFormer Shelby County Treasurer Jolene Aselage, left, of Sidney, gives the outgoing Shelby County Treasurer Linda Meininger a hug during Meininger’s retirement party. The party was held in the Shelby County Treasurer’s Office Wednesday, Aug. 30. People lined up to wish Meininger well. Democratic Committee Chairman for Shelby County Tom Kerrigan presented Meininger with a plaque. Shelby County Commissioners Bob Guillozet and Tony Bornhorst presented Meininger with a proclamation. Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst also stopped by to wish Meininger well. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Meininger retires from Treasurer’s Office

By Sheryl Roadcap

sroadcap@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.