Laurie Carpenter to run for treasurer
Florence County Deputy Treasurer Laurie Walsh Carpenter announced on March 14 that she will seek the office of Florence County Treasurer in 2016. The current treasurer, Dean Fowler Jr., who has held the office for 16 years, has announced he will not seek reelection as treasurer. He is seeking election to the South Carolina Senate District 31.
Carpenter has worked in the treasurer’s office since 1988. She served as an accountant and was promoted to accounting manager before being promoted to deputy treasurer in 1999. She has served in that position for 17 years. She has worked for four county treasurers. “The Florence County Treasurer’s Office has a huge responsibility to the people of the county and to the South Carolina State Statutes,” Carpenter said. “We have a great office and a dedicated staff.
Our county tax dollars are collected and distributed according to the state laws that govern our office. The yearly county annual reports show that we have done our job. The staff of the external audit firm that the county council hires says ’thank you’ to our office for our cooperation in providing records to them during their audit presentations at council meetings.
I am proud of that.” The treasurer’s office collects and accounts for more than $500 million dollars a year. The office is responsible for collecting property taxes for the county, the five school districts, the fire districts, and the municipalities. The office also collects funds from the state and various fees and fines.
“The treasurer’s office needs a leader that understands the accounting system, the internal controls, and the laws that govern the office to ensure the security of the funds we collect,” Carpenter said. “I have the experience that provides the knowledge and the understanding.” Carpenter said that under her leadership her staff “will understand the fiduciary responsibility we are charged with by the South Carolina State Statutes and by the people of Florence County.”
“I have championed positive changes in the treasurer’s office to improve customer service and I embrace the latest technology. Other county treasurers visit our office to observe and try to replicate our systems and processes in their own offices,” Carpenter said. If elected, Carpenter said she will continue to be a driving force for positive improvements and she will continue to focus on customer service. “My daily goal as treasurer will be to serve every citizen with honesty, efficiency and southern hospitality.
My career in public service started as my job 28 years ago and it became my passion.” Carpenter is a lifelong resident of Florence County and is a graduate of South Florence High School. She attended Clemson University and is a graduate of Francis Marion University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. She is married to Kent Carpenter and they have one grown son, Logan. They are members of John Calvin Presbyterian Church. She is a member of IPTAY, the Francis Marion Alumni Association, and the Early American Pattern Glass Society.