Moreland won’t seek sixth treasurer’s term
After five terms of office, County Treasurer Vergie Moreland said Tuesday she will not seek re-election for a sixth term in the March 2 primary.
Moreland said she is made her announcement at this time so those desiring to run for the office will have opportunity to do so.
“It is with bittersweet emotions that I inform you, the citizens, of my decision not to run for another term,” she said. “When asked in 1990, the year I first ran for the office, how many terms I would like to serve, I said four and now I have exceeded that goal thanks to you the voters who have continuously honored me with your “public trust” for the past 19 years. It is a privilege for me to serve you and I will continue to do so until my term expires Dec. 31, 2010.”
Moreland began her tenure with Orange County in 1979 in the auditor’s office under direction of Auditor Julia Bacom. “What a great teacher she was because she taught by example and her favorite phrase was “It is much easier to get it right the first time.”
The auditor’s office was the first office to go online with computers in 1980,” Moreland recalled. “Unlike today, not everyone in the office, or other county offices, had their own computer, we all had to share.” Moreland left the auditor’s office Oct. 31, 1983, to go into private business while working part-time in the County Employees Credit Union with Manager Vivian Dorman. “The credit union was not computerized at the time and Vivian asked me if I would work part time to help her get the computers up and running. It was a lot of hard work but Vivian was a hard worker and so much fun to work with.” Then in 1985 Moreland found herself back full time with the county in the treasurer’s office hired by Treasurer Earlene Hilliard. “I began as a payroll deputy working with Suzie Pelloat and Chief Deputy Shirley Lewallen. In 1986 Earlene Hilliard decided she would retire and Shirley Lewallen ran for the office. “Mrs. Lewallen was an excellent treasurer and she taught me much of what I know today about being a county treasurer,” said Moreland. Lewallen retired in the middle of her term in 1989, and the commissioners’ court appointed Judy Eatman to serve out her unexpired term.
Moreland took office in 1991, and at that time the county’s budget was $16 million and she began with three staff positions, and today the 2009-10 budget is $42.5 million and her office continues to operate with three staff positions. She attributes the efficiency of the day-to-day operations of the office to her capable staff. “Being the chief custodian of county finances, I have partnered with the Commissioners’ Court, the auditor and other administrative offices, to move the county forward financially and have worked diligently to protect the interest of the taxpayers with stability and integrity.
Today our economy has declined to levels that most, if not all of us, have never seen in our lifetime. The stigma left by corrupt financial administrators of WorldCom, Enron and others, has placed an unfavorable impression for those of us charged with administering the financial obligations of our entities. Now more than ever we must stand strong in our pursuit of financial integrity and the transparency of government.”
The office of county treasurer was created by the Texas Constitution in 1846, and is essentially the county’s banker as well as the banker for the state. Not all county treasurers perform the same duties, but Orange County’s treasurer is responsible for receiving all revenues belonging to the county on a daily bases. The treasurer acts as the liaison between the county and all depository banks. In this capacity, the Treasurer maintains records of all deposits and withdrawals, and reconciles all bank statements, thus assuring their accuracy and the safety of county funds, invoices for receivables, disburses all accounts payable, invests funds not immediately needed for liabilities, processes payroll for 400 full time employees and 100 plus extra help employees, computes and deposits all mandatory biweekly tax deposits and monthly and quarterly supporting reports to the IRS along with employee W-2s, and quarterly state court cost and fees reports. The treasurer also serves on the Bail Bond Board.
When asked what has changed the most during her tenure, she said, “Moving the office from the courthouse to the administration building in 1999, took a lot of getting used too, new technology has been a major asset, security issues have made an impact, but the most challenging of all has been hurricane preparedness and the ever changing downward spiral of interest rates.”
Moreland has served in her community through the Chamber of Commerce Board, United Way, March of Dimes, Old Timers Association, Senior Citizen Rally Day and Riparian Business and Professional Women Club. She is active at North Orange Baptist Church.
Moreland is a certified county treasurer and a certified investment officer and was appointed by the commissioners’ court in 1993 as investment officer. She has served as president and director respectively, of Region 10 County Treasurer’s Association and chairperson of the CTAT Education Committee, New Treasurer’s Orientation Seminars and is a past board member of the Texas Association of Counties Risk Management. She currently serves on the CTAT Board as chair of the County Treasurers of Texas Resource Guide Manual and Certified Investment Officer’s Committee for Texas Association of Counties. Moreland was honored, with the distinguished award of Texas Outstanding County Treasurer in 2005.