How long have you been county treasurer?
I took office in January 2015. I also served as deputy tax assessor-collector in Schleicher County from 2005 to 2006. Then, from 2010 to 2012, I served on the County Appraisal Review Board. I consider myself a Texas Tax Code aficionado.
Before you won election, what kind of work did you do? How did you get interested in running for office?
I moved to Schleicher County in 2003 and married my husband here in 2004. At the time, my mother-in-law was serving as county treasurer. Seeing her role in county government sparked my interest in running for that office when she announced her retirement.
What was the biggest surprise or adjustment after taking office?
It was surprising to me how long it takes to implement change. You have to bring people into agreement, often by compromising, to get things into the next fiscal budget. You have to be willing to stick with a project, often for years, to see it to fruition. I was also surprised at the volume and breadth of work we handle. My office of two people is responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, investments, human resources, risk management, wellness and internet/server management.
What are some of the most difficult challenges you have faced and what advice would you give your peers across the state who may face similar challenges?
It’s been difficult to work with elected officials who do not share my passion. You have to be willing to find out what is motivating the other person in order to frame your position
in terms they will understand. I encourage others to put in time to build relationships, especially those with people who sit across the fence from you. If you can get your opposition to sit with you in agreement on a tough issue, you are bound to succeed.
Since taking office, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
I was very proud to have our county take advantage of TAC HEBP’s private exchange. It not only lowered our monthly premiums, but we also have been able to offer excellent coverage for our employees and their families. We’ve also added a limited maternity leave benefit, as well as employer-sponsored, short-term disability coverage. It’s important that we take care of our county family. I am also proud of my work for the County Treasurers’ Association of Texas. I currently am serving as their president-elect and was awarded the Texas Outstanding County Treasurer Award in 2019. I’ve had some of the best mentors, and made dear friends, who help me implement great county government.
What do you find are the most successful methods for reaching out to the residents of Schleicher County to communicate what your office is doing and why?
I keep a Facebook page, which I was compelled to create after participating in TAC’s Leadership 254 program. I post some county news there. I also have a great relationship with the editor of our local newspaper, The Eldorado Success. He runs my press releases and has published a couple of articles that I’ve written over the years. My office is more about county administration and fiscal integrity, so we don’t usually make the front page.
What do you do when you’re not at work? Do you have any hobbies or something unique that you are interested in that may surprise your colleagues?
My friends know I love to sing. I’ve even been able to perform in a couple of musicals in our local theater. For the last musical, “Cowgirls,” I even learned the basics of playing the mandolin. I’ve also taken up running in 5K races because of my son’s passion for running. It’s been an activity we can do together, especially during the pandemic.
What is your favorite thing about Schleicher County?
I love seeing how our community works together, helping those in need. In 2016, I co-founded the Eldorado Service Center with our then-sheriff, David Doran. The work done at the center is pivotal in meeting needs here. We offer daily meals, deliver meals to the homebound, offer counseling services and have a food pantry. We also house the local chapter of the Salvation Army and work in conjunction with the Concho Valley Community Action Agency and the Laura Bush Foundation. Our clients’ needs have grown during the pandemic, and our volunteers have stepped up to the challenge.