1: Why SHOULD the office of county treasurer be abolished?

The office of County Treasurer is an elected office, the only requirements being that the candidate be 18 years of age and a citizen of Texas for 1 year and of his county 6 months. He does not have to have any sort of education in finance or book keeping.

In 1987 the Texas Legislature passed a law requiring any county with a population of over 10,000 to appoint a County Auditor that must show education and experience in public business with many duties duplicating the duties of County Treasurer.

The auditor is appointed by the distric judge's of the county and must prove competence as an accountant before being considered for the position.

§ 84.002. Appointment of County Auditor

  1. In a county with a population of 10,000 or more, the district judges shall appoint a county auditor.
  2. In a county with a population of less than 10,000:
    1. the district judges may appoint a county auditor if the judges determine that the county's financial circumstances warrant the appointment; and
    2. the district judges shall appoint a county auditor if:
      1. the commissioners court finds that a county auditor is necessary to carry out county business and enters an order in its minutes stating the reason for this finding;
      2. the order is certified to the district judges; and
      3. the district judges find the reason stated by the commissioners court to be good and sufficient.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

§ 84.006. Qualifications

  1. A county auditor must be:
    1. a competent accountant with at least two years' experience in auditing and accounting;
    2. thoroughly competent in public business details; and
    3. a person of unquestionably good moral character and intelligence.
  2. Before making an appointment the district judges shall carefully investigate and consider the person's qualifications.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, § 11(b), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

2: How can you maintain accountability if you _don't_ have an elected official handling the accounts?

The books are audited annually by an outside entity as well as by the county.

One argument used by my predecessor was that the Treasurer offered the county a means of checks and balances to which I have two responses.

  1. when the office is abolished the remaining employees and duties be transfered to the Auditors office consolidating and streamlining the financial duties of the county.

    If this solution is not satisfactory to those that would demand these "checks and balances".
  2. The duties and employes may be transfered to the office of County Clerk instead, satisfying the call for a division of the duties to protect the counties interests.

I would also ask what they fear that they need these "checks and balances"? If there is suspicion of abuse by an officer I would suggest these individuals be more vigilante, a watched officer should be less tempted to take advantage. And less officers are far easier to watch, and less of a burden on the county resources.

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