County Auditor-Treasurer Helget retires

Brown County Auditor-Treasurer Marlin Helget is retiring after several decades of public service.

A retirement celebration for Helget will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Friday, January 2, in the Brown County Law Enforcement Center basement training room.  The public is invited.

Helget became Brown County Auditor on January 1, 1987.   He became the Brown County Auditor-Treasurer in 1989. The new position was created after Brown County voters approved combining the County Auditor and Treasurer positions in a November 1988 referendum vote.

As County Auditor, he was the Brown County Chief Election Official, serving as a liaison between 32 voting precincts, 16 township boards, eight school districts and seven city councils.

The Auditor-Treasurer is the Chief Financial and Investment Officer, administrator of all aspects of property taxation, special and ditch assessments, etc. “It’s a Jack-of-all-trades office,” Helget said.  “It seems that if there was some question about a job and if they didn’t know where it should be handled, it went to the auditor’s office.”

Helget grew up on a farm 10 miles southeast of Sleepy Eye, graduated from St. Mary’s High School and attended the University of Minnesota.  He worked as an accountant for State Bond & Mortgage Company, and farmed before he was elected Brown County Auditor in November 1986. 

“I always enjoyed going to work,” Helget said. “There was always a challenge. Every day there something new and challenging.”

“I always did what I thought was right for the county, the employees and the people. I slept well at night,” Helget added.

The highlight of his career, he said, was being named Auditor of the Year by the Minnesota Association of (87) County Officers at the organization’s annual convention in the Twin Cities.

“I had a good staff,” Helget said.   “I think the transition will go smoothly.” The staff includes Assistant Auditor-Treasurer Jean Prochniak, who has 34 years of experience in the office and will assume the office of Auditor Treasurer January 1, 2015;  Property Tax Specialist Resa Harris, Property Maintenance Specialist Pauline Braulich, Financial Manager Steve Rutscher, and Financial Assistant Cindy Meyer.

Now, he looks forward to retirement. “I feel good,” he said. “I decided in May not to file for another term and I never looked back.  

 “I’ll keep busy,” Helget said.  “I’m going to relax for awhile.” He plans to work with his son in operating the family farm, take some brief trips with his wife, Carol, and spend more time with family, and watching their ball games.

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