GOSHEN COUNTY – Roberta Goeken wants a chance to help her community as the next treasurer of Goshen County.
Born in Greeley, Colo., and growing up in Haxtun, Colo., Goeken played volleyball, basketball and track from the seventh grade till graduating in 1990. During the summer Goeken would work at the local newspaper as receptionist and waitressed.
After high school, Goeken studied accounting at Morgan Community College in Fort Morgan, Colo. Meeting her husband while in college, Goeken left school to follow him from port to port in the Navy.
“We moved seven times, going to where the Navy told us to go,” Goeken said. “We started in Florida, moving to New York for more schooling, then to Washington State, Connecticut moving to Maine then back to Connecticut.”
Leaving the Navy, Goeken’s husband found a job with Union Pacific railroad based in Morrill, Neb. Goeken agreed to the move, if they could live in Wyoming. In 2002, Goeken moved to North Platt, Neb., then to Goshen County in 2009.
Her first year living here in Goshen County, Goeken found a job with the Lingle schools as a teacher’s aid for special needs children.
“If they needed help with reading I helped them,” she said. “If they needed help with math I helped them with math.”
In 2009, then-County Treasurer Sharon Knaub hired Goeken as a clerk. She then stayed on as a clerk when Maxine Mitchell was elected to the office. Goeken is excited about the prospect of becoming the new County Treasurer and learning something new.
“If it is something that is not normal to me, I will learn it,” she said. “I have always been helpful when it comes to doing something like this.
I have never been the boss – that will be one of the things I feel nervous about, is being the boss,” Goeken said. “It is an opportunity to better myself so I will push myself further.”
Becoming the County Treasure for Goeken is also an opportunity to meet the community.
“I love working with the community,” she said. “I love seeing the customers come in sometimes weekly. Then the newcomers coming into the treasures office becoming part of the community, helping them is awesome.”.
One change Goeken would like to make if elected is upgrading some of the software the treasurer’s office uses.
“Some of the computer programs we have when we are doing distributions, giving the county communities their money, means it takes the Deputy Treasurer up to 10 days to complete,” Goeken said. “If we had more programs for our system that we use now we could cut down the time.”
Goeken can see herself as County Treasurer. Being employed as a clerk for the past nine years she believes she knows the ins and outs. But she knows she still has a lot to learn about the top position.
“The majority of the work there is, there is a lot of that I would have to learn,” Goeken said. “The Treasurer and the Deputy would know most of the work that has to be done.”
Sitting next to her opponent Goeken said that she tries to keep it friendly in the office. She comes in to do her work and not let any of it bother her. It has not affected their friendship and the things that they talk about.
“We still talk on a daily basis. We laugh and carry on like nothing has changed,” she said. “We know that we are opponents.”
Goeken has the support of her family in the race for county treasurer. Her parents came up from Colorado to ride in the parades with her to show their support. Her nephew in North Platte has one of her signs in his yard.
Goeken believes she is ready for the challenges and duties of the office.
“Collecting property taxes, sales tax and registration fees” are the primary jobs of the county treasurer, Goeken said. “Seventy percent of the taxes we collect goes to education. We distribute all the money to the entities in the county and we are the main accountants for the county.”