Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Talk Radio Offers Rare Glimpse Into Court's Workings

Continuing debate over elected Treasurer rankles, roils, rattles community - left and right of center field

Waco – Why does County Treasurer-elect Danny Volcik find his competence to perform the job voters elected him to do under attack from the Waco “Tribune-Herald”?

“I think the big thing is I didn't spend any money with the Trib,” Mr. Volcik told KWTX NewsTalk Radio 1230's Shane Warner this morning when he asked the beleaguered and newly elected official.

In interviews concerning his qualifications to serve in the sensitive post, the newspaper's Regina Dennis quoted him saying that he felt County Judge Jim Lewis and the County Auditor, Steve Moore, could take some of the burden of the job's duties off of him.

“No, I didn't say that. That isn't what I said,” Mr. Volcik replied. “I don't have no problem. I'm confident about doing the job...”

Campaign records show that the 20-year Democratic incumbent he defeated, Bill Helton, spent about $15,000 on advertising in print media and on campaign signs. Mr. Volcik, a Republican, spent nothing. He conducted his campaign while drinking coffee and visiting voters at public functions.

He bested Mr. Helton's tally by nearly 4,000 votes.

County Commissioner Kelly Snell was next up on the morning talk show. He called for Mr. Volcik to come to the Commissioners Court meeting and be placed on the agenda so members of the court can question him about his qualifications.

“If the voters send this candidate and he wins, we need to know if he can do the job, or not,” he told Mr. Warner.

He said he favors allowing Mr. Volcik an opportunity to prove his abilities before making any major policy and procedure changes.

Why did the commissioners court meet in executive session to discuss transferring the duties of the treasurer's office to the county auditor's office?

County Judge Jim Lewis and the county's attorney required that, he said, though “I don't really like the executive sessions. I would rather do it in open court.”

Mr. Snell said he has received numerous calls at his office from people who are “frantically scared when pay day gets here, their check will be wrong, or it'll be late or the taxes aren't paid.”

He is advocating a new and more efficient computer system to replace the outmoded main frame setup used in the courthouse at present, he said.

Some of the county's income used to meet payroll is derived from income generated by investment of millions of dollars managed by the Treasurer's office.

“You shouldn't have one official in there who can make wire transfers without anyone else involved. If it was me, I'd want someone else...” he said.

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