New treasurer paid her dues

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette New Houghton County Treasurer Lisa Mattila sits in her office Thursday. Mattila was appointed in December to replace Kathleen Beattie, who retired at the end of the year.

HOUGHTON — After more than 31 years in the Houghton County Treasurer’s Office, Lisa Mattila is taking on the top position.

Mattila, most recently the deputy treasurer, was appointed as treasurer at December’s Houghton County Board meeting. She replaces Kathleen Beattie, who retired at the end of 2018.

Mattila had weighed the decision for several months prior to Beattie’s retirement. Along with her husband, David, she purchased Superior Sand and Gravel a year ago. But the business is functioning smoothly without more involvement from her, she said.

Over the next few months, county administrator Eric Forsberg, County Board members and other people asked her if she planned to apply.

“I thought, well, this looks like a challenge and something that I’d want to give a shot,” she said. “I like working for the people of Houghton County. I like waiting on the people and assisting them with issues and problems and trying to help them all.”

She’s been working for the people in the Treasurer’s Office. She began 31 1/2 years ago as an accounts processor, eventually becoming senior accounts processor. Seven years ago, she was named deputy treasurer.

Beattie told Mattila she is available for advice. As Mattila goes through various files and folders, she is also finding notes from Beattie advising her what to do.

“I keep saying she has small feet but big shoes to fill,” Mattila said.

Mattila is looking forward to working with one of Beattie’s creations, the Houghton County Land Bank, to find buyers for properties that had reverted to the county. Some properties have already garnered interest, she said.

This week, Mattila has had discussions with office staff about possible upgrades, such as a new printer. But so far, Mattila plans to keep the office as it has been.

Mattila will serve the remainder of Beattie’s term. She plans to run for a full term in November 2020.

“It’ll be exciting to go from a union worker, and then to an elected position, then run as a politician,” she said. “That’ll be interesting, to be in the public eye more so than I was.”