Rowell wants one more term as county treasurer

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By Jenny Hartley

Lancaster County Treasurer Richard "Dick" Rowell wants to run for one more term in office, preferably unopposed, of course.

Rowell, 63, a Democrat, said he'd like to run without the cost of waging a campaign against an opponent. Rowell's daughter, Mary Helen, is a freshman at University of South Carolina, and he said he'd like to remain in office one more term to pay for her college education.

He's served as treasurer since 2000, when he filled the unfinished term of Mary Alice Belk. His father, Richard Rowell, served as Lancaster County treasurer for 20 years. Rowell Jr. was 12 when his father first ran for the treasurer's office.

Rowell was in the banking industry for 25 years before working as the "banker" for the county. He worked for Jim Bradley at the Bank of Lancaster.

"I'm addicted to public service," Rowell said. His goal is to have residents leave his office with smiles on their faces, although he understands that "everyone hates to pay taxes."

But with a great staff, Rowell is able to run the office with good customer service, he said.

In Rowell's time, the office has moved from handwritten ledgers taped together to computer records on spreadsheets. The office is now more customer-friendly, and now issues car license plate decals.

"Everything's automated now," Rowell said. "I've got the best staff in the building. It's just a pleasure to come to work every day, especially with my staff."

Rowell is a Lancaster native, and spent a lot of time in his youth in the Buford community. Rowell and his wife, Debra, have on child. Rowell affectionately refers to his college-age daughter as "Money Helen."

Contact Jenny Hartley at 283-1151 or jhartley@thelancasternews.com