The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Carla Rowe, Cathy Shochet to Face Off for Columbia County Treasurer

Deputy Treasurer Shochet and business owner Rowe are both Dayton High school Graduates


Carla Rowe

DAYTON – Dayton native Carla Rowe said she will bring her expertise in the field of accounting and bookkeeping practices to the position of Columbia County Treasurer if she is elected in November.

For the past 14 years, Rowe has owned her own bookkeeping business, CJ Bookkeeping, where she performs full-charge bookkeeping as well as providing her Dayton and Waitsburg clients with specific accounting needs.

"I have always taken a proactive approach for my clients, and I will bring that commitment to the county," Rowe said.

If elected Rowe said she would like to see better utilization of the software program and other technology tools in the Treasurer's Office. She plans to generate a more readable spreadsheet than the one currently provided to the county administrators and department heads each month.

She would also like to establish better communication between the county administrators and department heads and the Treasurer's Office, she said.

Rowe said her career with numbers began as an FBLA officer at Dayton High School. After graduating from DHS in 1985, she earned an associate's degree from Walla Walla Community College. She also attended the Family & Community Leadership Program through WSU.

She then took several courses through the WWCC Bookkeeping Certification Program. She is also familiar with QuickBooks applications and practices, she said.

Rowe said she is already familiar with the state's Budgeting, Accounting and Reporting System, through her work at the Port of Columbia many years ago, she said.

Rowe has taken continuing education courses in areas such as social media marketing, web design, records retention and destruction, payroll management and grant writing.

"I just feel I have some skills to bring to the table to make the financial reporting more efficient," Rowe said of her capabilities.

Rowe has been active in 4-H for the past 20 years, and she is currently serving as treasurer of the 4-H Leaders' Council.

She is also on the Dayton Development Task Force, and she has been on the Columbia County Fair Board Committee for the last three years.

Rowe said if she is elected, she will continue to provide her private clients with QuickBooks consultations. "Several lean on me for payroll, and I see no conflict there," she said.

Rowe lives in Dayton with her son Cheyenne Gritman, 17. She has two other children, Fred Gritman, 21, and Courtney McNeil, 28.

Cathy Shochet

DAYTON – Cathy Shochet began working in the Columbia County Treasurer's office in 2016. In her previous position, she was the Auditor for the Port of Columbia. Because the Port is a special taxing district for the county, she connected with the county treasurer on a weekly basis.

"The Treasurer is the de facto bank for the county, and each week I saw Audrey and realized that would be a place I would like to end up," said Shochet. "When the Deputy Treasurer position opened up, I interviewed, and here I am. I am very happy with the outcome."

As Chief Deputy Treasurer, Shochet said she has developed strong working relationships with county officials and department heads, helping them categorize funds in order to comply with state reporting standards, and keeping track of their deposits.

In addition, Shochet imports the cleared check data from two different bank accounts each morning and reconciles them to the appropriate fund.

The Treasurer's office handles many different taxing districts in the county, including the school district, the hospital district, the library district, and many more. "It's a city within a city," she said.

"Property taxes are the meat and potatoes. Nobody likes them, but they are essential for funding essential services in the county. I feel a strong responsibility there," she said.

Shochet said she is very comfortable with financial matters and spreadsheets, as well as the new software in the department. She said she is also comfortable with the public.

If elected, Shochet said she would like to look at additional ways to streamline processes, with more utilization of the accounting and tax software.

Shochet refers to herself as a "Green Giant kid." Her father, Jack Loftus, was a warehouse manager for Green Giant.

After graduating from Dayton High School in 1978, Shochet attended Evergreen State University, earning a BA in English. She then attended Fort Steilacoom College, where she obtained additional skills in bookkeeping and office administration.

Shochet's early working career took place in several mom and pop-style industries, as a senior staffing specialist, in accounts payable and in accounting practices, and procedures.

Shochet and her husband, Steve, moved back to Dayton from the west side of the state in 2014 to enjoy the Dayton's small-town atmosphere and its solid sense of community. She said she looks forward to continued work with her colleagues at the county.


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