Moreland retires after 30 years of service to OC
“Being an elected official is not as glamorous as some would think because when you are an elected official, all eyes are on you,” said Vergie Moreland, Orange County treasurer.
Moreland has been worked for the county for just under 30 years. She started working in 1979 in the County Auditor’s, Julia Bacom, office for four years. She then resigned to go into business for herself but came back and worked in the credit union part-time. She started working the County Treasurer’s office in 1985 and worked for six years before running for and was elected to the County Treasurer’s office in 1991.
“When I came into office in 1991, our county budget was $16 million. Our county budget today is $46 million,” she said. “When I came in [to office] in 1991, I had three staff members…I still have three staff members twenty years later. We have had to make a lot of changes to keep up with technology.”
“Every staff member that I have hired in this office has had an accounting background,” she said. “We do big time accounting and I’ve always hired staff members with honesty and integrity. Those are two, besides experience, that’s you want.”
There are no set qualifications set by the statue that are required to become a County Treasurer but one must have an accounting background of at least 10 or more years. “If you don’t have an accounting background, you have no business being a county treasurer,” said Moreland. “When I came to work for the county, I came from a [certified public account’s] office.
The County Treasurer is the chief financial officer is responsible for paying all of the bills for the county, for depositing all of the revenue, paying all of the bills and investing what is left over that is not immediately needed to meet the immediate liabilities of the county. The County Treasurer is responsible for all bank reconciliations for the county, is a member of the Bail Bond Board, and is responsible for the writing the depository contract for the county.
The County Treasurer is also responsible for writing the investment policy and the Commissioners’ Court approves. In that contract, the CT has to have an investment strategy. “You just don’t sit here and say ‘I’m going to put this much here and this much here,’” she said. “You have to have a strategy as to why you are placing the funds, where you are placing them and the tenure until the are matured.”
Right now, the county treasurer has invested in CDs, agencies of the Federal Government, TexPool, Super Treasury Savings Account at Capital One Bank in Orange, and a Super Savings Account at the Depository bank which is Wellsfargo Bank. The county also invests some of the daily cash flow into NOW accounts at Wellsfargo Bank.
“When the economy began to creator in 2007, that was a very stressful time for in regards to the investments,” said Moreland. “Years ago, I was able to get three and four percent return for my citizens on the tax and other revenues for the county. But beginning in 2007 to presents, it’s been very stressful to get a competitive return on our investments. It has really hurt our county budget because instead of being able to earn one and a half million [dollars] in investments, I am now earning, at best, $200,000.”
The County Treasurer is also responsible for all expenditures for the county which include: Bills that the Commissioners’ Court approves of on Mondays; payroll payments on every other Thursday for approximately 500 employees; insurance payments paid weekly and biweekly; cash flow availability during the week to meet all of the liabilities of the county; cash flow needs for the District Attorney’s drug funds, the constables drug funds, and the sheriff’s drug funds (because these elected officials can walk into the County Treasurer’s office and ask for $10,000 and these funds are designated funds).
The responsibilities alone prove that only the best can do this job and Moreland has proved herself over and over to the citizens of Orange County. “I am so very thankful to the citizens of Orange County for supporting me for all these 20 years that I have been County Treasures,” she said. “It has been such an honor for me to serve the citizens of Orange County. I have truly enjoyed being the County Treasurer and all of the responsibilities that’s been mine and all the areas that I’ve been able to excel in. It’s because the citizens have placed their confidence and trust in me as their public servant as County Treasurer.”
While her retirement is just a few weeks away, she plans on staying involved the community. “I hope to be able to do more at my church, more volunteer work at the church and the nursing home,” she said. “I will stay busy in the community, I will still do my community work: United Way, March of Dimes, Heart Association. I hope to get involved in The Relay for Life and the Service League. I’m going to stay on several boards that I am apart of. I would venture to say that I would be back in politics. I’m not going to say what it’s going to be at this particular point.”
Moreland plans on doing a bit a traveling and visiting during her retirement as well. “I hope to be able to spend some quality time with me husband,” she said. She would then like to spend some quality time with both of their son’s and their families. “Then we would like to travel,” Moreland said. “We’ve been blessed in that we’ve been able to travel quite a bit during my working years. Hopefully now we can go and stay as long as we want to as long as our funds will hold out. I won’t stay too long because I’m really a home-body and I like my roots.”
Moreland has been good to Orange County and it’s citizens and they have been good to her. “It has been such a pleasure to serve the citizens of Orange County and I will truly miss it,” Moreland said. “I feel real good that I am leaving the citizens in good hands with Treasurer elect Christy Khoury. She’s been with me for eight years and I’ve taught her everything that she will need to know to make a smooth transition. The citizens can rest at ease because she is going to take care of them hopefully as well as I did and more. “
Awards and Accomplishments:
* 1993-Received certification as investment officer.
*1993-Appointed investment officer by Commissioners’ Court.
* Chamber of Commerce – 3 years.
* Riparian Business and Professional Women’s Club (gives scholarships to three deserving young women) -Honored in 1996 as Woman of the Year
* 1997- District 14 Riparian Woman of the Year
* 2001- V.G. Young Institute of County Government for Chairing the Continuing Education Committee for the County Treasurers Association of Texas, award given for Exemplary Service (this award is given to very few chairs).
* 2005- The State of Texas Outstanding County Treasurer
*2010 – Life Membership Award to the County Treasurers Association (given to very few people). This award is in recognition of contributions to the County Treasurers Association of Texas. Her latest contribution is that for the last seven years, she has been the chair for the Resource Guide for the Responsibilities of County Treasurers throughout the state of Texas. This guide is updated every two years.
* Taught many classes on investments, depository contracts, payroll, and quarterly reports for the County Treasurers Association and the Level 1 and Level 2 certified investment officers.
* Certified County Treasurer-it is required for County Treasurers to receive 20 hours of continuing education to keep certification.
* Served on the Certified Investment Officers Training Board. “My committee picked out the curriculum for investment certification and I have been on that board for the past four years.”
* President of Region 10 [of the State of Texas].
* Served on the County Treasurers Association of Texas for the majority of her tenure.
* Served on the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), the TAC Board of Directors and was a found board member of the TAC Risk Management Pool.