Tuesday, December 7, 2010

McLennan Commissioners Agree To Disagree – Take No Action

Shift to County Auditor's Control of Payroll, Retirement and Investment, On Hold After Closed Executive Session

Waco – Budgetary and payroll accounting chores raised ire and ruffled feathers in Commissioners Court today.

The bone of contention is the supposed qualifications or lack or qualifications of the man elected to the McLennan County Treasurer's job, Danny Volcik, a retired DPS State Trooper.

The rift began when the commissioners considered a measure to rescind a previous budget amendment of about $2,911 by moving funds from one account to another to pay for courthouse security.

County Auditor Steve Moore said to fail to do so would cause a budget deficit on the books. The move was necessary because of a budget mistake that needed correction.

Commissioner Lester Gibson objected, vehemently maintaining that the measure as proposed by Budget Director Adam Harry was one outside the scope of his new duties – at least as far as his understanding of the matter goes.

Mr. Moore responded by saying Mr. Harry was appointed to oversee the budget. “It becomes a living document that is amended throughout the year...That was passed to Adam.”

Mr. Gibson snorted, then said, “Show me in the statute where it was passed to Adam. Who passed it to Adam?

“That's not an auditory decision. It's a court decision.”

County Judge Jim Lewis sought to soothe the waters, saying “The document becomes a living document that changes every day.”

Mr. Gibson snorted again, derisively. He said, “I don't need you giving me that kind of advice...You and I have a difference...”

When it came time to make a motion to approve the transaction, all sat stone-faced and remained silent, then went on to another item after Judge Lewis declared, “It appears the matter has died for lack of a motion.”

After a pregnant pause, Mr. Moore spoke up and explained that if no action is taken, the accounts will show an overdraft.

At that point, Commissioner Joe Mashek relented and moved the matter be handled by rescinding the budget amendment and allocating the funds to the proper account.
When it came to the discussion and possible action on a proposed “transition” of payroll, investment and retirement benefits functions from the County Treasurer's office to “other offices,” Judge Lewis declared the court would go into executive session and shooed all bystanders and county employees not essential to the discussion out of the room.

Executive sessions of public meetings are declared when a legislative or governing board finds it necessary to discuss personnel matters, pending or threatened litigation, acquisition or disposal of real property, right of way acquisition or expansion, or economic development negotiations.

Within a half hour, they invited the gallery back and adjourned after taking no action on the matter.

During the public comment session, a lady named Sarah Oliver addressed the court, saying “I'm concerned with someone who would run for an office he's not qualified for. I think Mr. (Dan) Volcik for the good of the county should resign.”

Mr. Volcik defeated incumbent County Treasurer Bill Helton by a very large majority. He is a retired DPS State Trooper. Many political operatives have denounced his qualifications to hold down the Treasurer's job.

Qualifications for the job are to be elected, to not be disqualified, and to place a surety bond on file.

Duties of the office are prescribed by the Texas Local Gov't Code. They are to keep a record of all money that is paid to the County, to deposit all money invested, that has been deducted from payrolls, and to account for the funds thus deposited.

Reached for comment, Mr. Volcik said, "The court did the right thing. I was elected and look forward to working with the people in the courthouse."

He assured The Legendary that he has made numerous contacts with Repubican Party officials in neighboring counties and other County Treasurers who serve adjacent counties and has met with nothing but encouragement.

Mr. Volcik will make an appearance on the Shane Warner News Talk Radio program tomorrow morning on KWTX.


  1. Republicans who defeat long term democrats in McLennan County have a tough row to hoe. Perhaps the last republican screwed over does not take it so personally now.

  2. Volcik won by 8018 votes 30,539 for Volcik and 22521 for Helton ,Straight party republicans 12,752 and democrats 9,373.

  3. Thank you for supplying me with more accurate figures.
    - The Legendary