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Each election year, KBIA sits down with local candidates to hear what they have to say on their own terms. Some of these candidates you might see on TV every day. Others might be familiar by name only, if that. But KBIA interviews them all so that you can be informed when you go to the polls in November.

Candidate Conversations: Kyle Rieman

Two speech bubbles on a purple background. There is a brown and gold podium in front of the speech bubbles with a spotlight on it. At the top of the image, it says "candidate conversations" in all-caps.
Ellie Lin

Reagan Wiles: If you'll just kind of walk us through what is your background and what made you want to run for this position.

Kyle Rieman: I grew up in Warsaw, Missouri, which is small town down by Lake of the Ozarks. Not a lot to do, so I first started, got an interest in politics, where I wanted to start a petition for an indoor like playground, kind of like a discovery zone back in the day. Was not successful, but got a few hundred signatures that developed into an interest to where I'd start going to school board meetings, and wanted to kind of have an interest in figuring out how to make the largest social impact possible. That led me down to Missouri State, where I was real active in kind of learning the bureaucracy of how a large university works. Go into faculty, Senate staff, Senate, student government, and I got degrees in sociology and economics— kind of two sides of the same coin. My senior year, I did a legislative internship in Jeff City with a state rep, and then from there, that led to basically a 10-year career, more or less, at the state doing budget and policy analysis with a focus on like, employee benefits, kind of the nuts and bolts, not super sexy stuff. I've worked both on the executive side and legislative sides before coming to the city of Columbia, where I was the budget officer. Yeah, that's my professional background. I also got into real estate when I was 23, I owned and occupied a duplex. And I've grown that into some other, other rentals and other small businesses. So, I also have experience working on the entrepreneurial side.

Reagan Wiles: What are your biggest goals for the county auditor seat?

Kyle Rieman: So, I'd say, I mean, the first thing that we got to do is we've got to help the commission figure out how to spend this federal stimulus money that we've only got a few years to spend. It's one-time funds for pandemic relief. We also are in the process of putting in a new ERP system that should go, start going live. They've been working on this since 2014. It's kind of like the backbone skeletal system, financial system, Report Builder, HR management system for the county and touches the entire county. So, those would be the two immediate goals. Long term, definitely want to increase transparency and informed decision-making with whether it's performative, you know, beefing up performance measures or adding more performance measures, also adding kind of more citizen-friendly documentation that can help them understand the county's finances. So, that would also be a goal.

Reagan Wiles: Perfect. Is there, we're just kind of wrapping things up, is there anything that we haven't, I haven't, asked you about or we haven't covered or touched upon that you would like to speak about?

Kyle Rieman: I have done everything that is required of the office and have worked in that in a similar capacity or greater. I mean, it's, again, did it for the city of Columbia. The more, I mean, I've managed, you know, multibillion-dollar budgets for a number of years.

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