The Minnesota Association of County Officers (MACO) named Aitkin County Auditor Kirk Peysar to its honor roll at the Annual MACO Conference held recently in Bloomington. The honor roll is the highest honor awarded by MACO each year to an individual or individuals in recognition of outstanding service and contributions to MACO. Given annually since 1996, Peysar was recognized for his many years as the association’s treasurer and for helping the MACO organization maintain a healthy financial position.
MACO is comprised of county auditors, treasurers, recorders, financial officers and registrars. All Minnesota counties are members.
Peysar graduated from Aitkin High School in 1977. He attended Brainerd Technical College, now called Central Lakes College and graduated from the accounting program. He worked in the private sector until 1988. That year, he began his work in the public sector, starting with Aitkin County as a financial worker. He was promoted to fiscal supervisor in 1993. In 1998, he was elected the Aitkin County Auditor and he is currently serving his fifth term.
On July 15, 1975, Peysar began working at another job that would define his life. He started as the projectionist for the Rialto Theatre and Rainbow Drive-In. At the age of 24, he took over the concession operations of the business and, at the age of 26, he took over the business. At the time, VCRs were the rage and the business struggled through the 1980s. But his passion for the theatre business and his willingness to work full-time at a “day job” allowed him to keep the doors open. Peysar said he figures that he has popped about 20 tons of popcorn during his nearly 42 years.
Prior to being elected as the county auditor, Peysar served one term on the city council. He is a current member of the Aitkin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Aitkin County Historical Society, the Aitkin County Friends of the Arts, St. James Catholic Church and the Aitkin Lakes Area Rotary Club. He served as club treasurer for more than 10 years. He has served on Aitkin’s All Class Reunion Committees, chairing the last event in 2011 and has served on the community’s hospital foundation board.
A love for the county fair has been in his blood since his childhood. He started as a fair exhibitor at the age of eight, participating as a 4H and open class exhibitor with his grandmother. He has been the superintendent of the horticulture department since 1989; served on the fair board since 1991 and as the secretary/treasurer of the board since 2004. In 2010, he was elected as the District 6 Director of the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs, a position he still holds. He also serves as that organization’s treasurer. Each summer, he travels to 20 or more county fairs and each year he adds a new fair or two to the list.
In his spare time
Peysar loves gardening, growing giant pumpkins and collecting antiques, especially Aitkin memorabilia. He’s proud of the fact his great-grandfather, George, a County Commissioner in 1919, made the motion to construct Aitkin County’s courthouse – the place he goes to work each day.
Peysar is the second of four children. His brother, Jeff and his wife Judy, brother, Clark and his wife Lois, and sister, Tiffany and her husband TJ all live in the Aitkin area. He has five nieces and one nephew; and two grand-nephews, and three grand-nieces.
“It’s an honor to be among a handful of individuals recognized by the MACO organization. The members of MACO are dedicated to the effective and efficient delivery of government services throughout Minnesota,” Peysar said.