Hillsboro city treasurer Heather Young, left, is pictured as Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss administers the oath of office. (HCP Photos/Caitlin Forsha)
Hillsboro city treasurer Heather Young, left, is pictured as Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss administers the oath of office. (HCP Photos/Caitlin Forsha)
Heather Young was sworn in as Hillsboro city treasurer during a ceremony Monday morning in the Highland County Common Pleas Courtroom.

Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss administered the oath of office.

Young was appointed by the Highland County Democratic Central Committee to replace former treasurer Patty Burns, who was elected in November 2017 but has since accepted a position as consumer services clerk in the city water department. Young will be running for the treasurer’s seat next year, with the position appearing on the November 2019 ballot to fill Burns’ unexpired term.

“We took our time trying to make the appointment because we felt the citizens of Hillsboro desired somebody who was qualified, outgoing, personable and could get along with all of the city employees, and we think we found the perfect person in Heather Young,” Highland County Democratic Party chairperson Dinah Phillips told The Highland County Press.

Young is a graduate of Hillsboro High School, after relocating to Highland County in the sixth grade, and also graduated from Southern State Community College with a degree in nursing. Throughout her life, she said she’s often held two to three jobs at a time, and her work history includes a varied background with jobs in finance, business management, nursing and hairstyling.

In addition to her new job as city treasurer, Young currently works as a hairstylist five days a week at Details Salon and Day Spa in Hillsboro, where she is an independent contractor, and as a nurse, working PRN. Young is also an active member of the Hillsboro chapter of the Eastern Star and attends church at Greater Life Assembly at Rocky Fork Lake. She also enjoys volunteering at Hillsboro Elementary and has volunteered with the Board of Elections as a poll worker.

Young lives in Hillsboro with her husband, who works for the Ohio Department of Transportation, and their son, who attends Hillsboro Elementary. She also has two stepsons.

Young said that she feels prepared to take on the challenge of being city treasurer thanks to her experience with managing finances over the years, including working for several years in the University of Kansas comptroller’s office, running her personal business at Details and managing a chain salon for five years.

“At the comptroller’s office at the university, we did all the general ledgers, did reports for the grant money for the students and all the interdepartmental financial accounting,” Young said. “I feel pretty confident in the [treasurer’s] position because of my experience at the university. There were six of us that worked in the comptroller’s office, so we had a good team, and through that I feel pretty confident.”

Phillips agreed, saying that Young’s work experience makes her “the perfect fit” for the job.

“She’s got the financial side of it covered, and then she’s an independent businessperson, so I think she’s got the business side covered,” Phillips said. “We think she will be the perfect fit.

“We didn’t want to make a rushed decision, and we hope the city will understand that. Some people thought we took too long, but we wanted to make the right choice.”

Flexibility is also key for Young, who said that she chooses jobs that allow her to set her own schedule so she has more time to spend with her young son. Being able to balance her schedule at Details and as treasurer was one of the primary reasons she accepted the position.

“When Dinah approached me about this position, I thought it was an honor to be asked to do this,” Young said. “I try to do everything I can to help in the community. I think with the flexibility of my job, that it will kind of coincide with that, being able to run to the city building [from the salon].”

Along with flexibility, Young said that the treasurer’s position fits in with her goals of “helping people, with my two businesses of doing hair and being a nurse, and being able to do something for my community.”

When Phillips approached Young about the opportunity, Young said she asked for some time to think about it before she accepted the position.

“I wanted to make sure I had the time to invest in such a big commitment,” Young said. “I thought about it for several weeks before I committed.”

In addition to the responsibility of the job itself, Young also considered the time that will be spent campaigning and working to make the treasurer’s office a “long-term commitment.”

“[Phillips] said, ‘I don’t want you to take this position if you just want to do it right now,’” Young said. “She said she wanted me to make a long-term commitment, and that’s why I had to think about it for so long. But I hope to be in this position, if the voters allow, for a long time.”

Young said she has also met with Burns and has spoken with city auditor Gary Lewis for information on the treasurer’s position.

“I think that’s important too, when you have people in the community step up to the plate that are willing to help,” Phillips said. “They will be invaluable to her, and I’m grateful to them for that.

“I think the city’s getting a very qualified, very personable officeholder, and I’m sure once they get to know her, they’ll be as impressed by her as we were.”

As she prepares to start her new job, Young said that she is “very excited” for this opportunity.

“I’m very excited,” Young said. “I am a little bit nervous. I’ve never been in this kind of position, as far as public office. I’ve put a lot of thought into it and prayed about it.

“I’m pretty loyal to everything I do. I’ve worked a lot and held two or three jobs at a time my whole life. I’ve enjoyed the newness and learning new things, and I think it makes you appreciate each job.”