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San Benito
April 18, 2024

Candidate Profile: Casillas has 20 years in county finance roles

Melinda Casillas underscored her experience in promoting herself for public office. She spent 12 years in the county auditor’s office — seven as assistant auditor — and for the past five years has been the San Benito County budget officer.
“So I have a high-level view as a budget officer of the county and finances,” she said.
With the auditor’s office, a lot of the work she did was interacting with the treasurer’s office while dealing with cash reconciliations and property taxes.
“I’ve actually worked in the tax office off and on in those years actually helping them with payments and postings,” she said.
Casillas, 54, is running for the treasurer/tax collector/public administrator position on the June 5 primary ballot against Jaime De La Cruz.
She noted how financial work is her background and how she really enjoys that kind of role.
“So I’ve worked with the tax collector and treasurer’s office for many years,” Casillas said. “When Mary Lou (Andrade) decided she wasn’t going to run again, I thought that was a pretty natural fit to move into that office.”
Andrade declined to seek another term in the treasurer/tax collector/public administrator job.
Casillas said the treasurer’s office is “like a bank” for public districts.
“I think strengthening the relationships, especially with school districts and special districts, is really important,” she said.
Better communication is another goal.
“I think finding other avenues and other opportunities to make paying property taxes easier for the customers, for the residents, is a big issue we need to look at also,” she said.