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County commissioners hear auditor options from district judge
by Coy Slavik, Advance-Guard Editor
Nov 20, 2013 | 20 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GOLIAD – Debate over the Goliad County auditor’s office highlighted the county commissioners meeting held Nov. 12.

District Judge Stephen Williams informed the court that he and the other two district judges had decided to make assistant auditor Norma Garcia interim auditor and re-post the position after the holidays.

Former county auditor Susanna Moron resigned in September.

Williams said few qualified applicants had expressed interest in the position and a possible option would be to share an auditor with an adjoining county or eliminate the position all together.

“I did a little bit of research a couple or three years ago on it and I have since done more research on it,” Williams said. “Essentially, Goliad has an auditor as long as I can remember. ... For us to undo that now with the research I have done is that both the district judges and commissioners court would have to make a finding that the financial situation in this county does no longer require the auditor position.

“Speaking for myself and the other two district judges, we’re not prepared to do that. We think the auditor position in this county should continue and there are some very good reasons for that.”

Williams said the next auditor will be seventh in his 18-year tenure as judge.

“Sometimes we have not had the type of applicants we have wanted,” Williams said. “If we’re going to have an auditor over here, something needs to change. I’m sure you are all aware of what an auditor is supposed to do and what there function is - to maintain the financial integrity of the county. What we always told people is that the auditor can be your friend and keep you out of trouble. You would think public officials and county officials would appreciate that and encourage that.”

“What is an interim auditor going to do for us that isn’t being done at the current time,” asked Goliad County Judge David Bowman, who has been in favor of eliminating the auditor’s office and moving the auditing duties to County Treasurer Daphne Buelter’s office.

“Perhaps you can enlighten me on that, Judge,” Williams said. “I understand there has been a problem with the signing of checks and that an auditor is required to co-sign on checks. I don’t know what’s been going on with that.

“I don’t think not having that position is an option.”

Williams said he wanted to inform the court on where the district judges stood on the auditor’s position.

“At some point, it may come to this court for a decision,” Williams said.

“How long are we going to go before we make a decision?” Bowman asked Williams. “We have done everything we can possibly do to make sure our finances are in order in Goliad County.”

Bowman said Victoria CPA Donald Goldman has been solicited to check the county’s finances.

“I think the county auditor’s position is very important,” Goldman said. “I would agree that you need one in some way, shape or form.”

Also on Nov. 12, the court unanimously approved the allocation of $20 per pay period for each employee to select the type of supplemental insurance coverage through Colonial Life each employee deems best fits his/her individual needs.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronald Bailey made the motion and it was seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner Alonzo Morales.

The county will set up meetings for Colonial Life representatives to discuss the changes with county employees.

The court unanimously approved an application by Scotty and Patsy Light to place a historical marker for the Bull Durham Tobacco wall advertisement on the old Troy Cleaners building located at 312 S. Commercial St. Precinct 1 Commissioner Julian Flores moved to approve the application and Bailey seconded the motion.

The court voted unanimously to split its 1,793 votes between Goliad County Judge David Bowman and Goliad County Tax Assessor/Collector Michelle Garcia for the selection of Goliad County Appraisal District Directors for 2014-15. Morales made the motion and it was seconded by Bailey.

The court unanimously approved the Goliad County Historical Society’s request to place drink booth, Historical Commission booth and Goliad Pet Adoption booth on the courthouse during Christmas In Goliad. Bailey made the motion and it was seconded by Precinct 4 Commissioner Ted Long.
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