Candidate pledges to guard taxpayers' money
By BY SEAN KENNEDY
Feb. 28, 2014 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 27, 2014 at 8:28 p.m.
I took an oath upon becoming county treasurer in 2007 to faithfully execute the duties of treasurer and to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state, so help me God. I did not take this oath lightly, and I strive every day to live out the powerful words in this oath.
As your county treasurer, I work hard to ensure that taxpayers get the most for their money. I take my job as treasurer seriously, and I've always been a strong fiscal conservative. I view my job as serving as a watchdog over the county treasury and as a position that serves everyone. When the recession struck our county and times were tight, I led by example in cutting the budget within my own office. I worked in the private sector for more than 25 years before entering public service, and I make decisions as county treasurer with the same care that I practiced throughout my business career.
I grew up in Victoria, graduated from St. Joseph's High School and went on to earn my bachelor's degree in business administration. After years of working around the U.S. on business, I married my wife, Barbara, settled back in Victoria and entered public service. I worked in the Victoria County auditor's office, then served as accountant for the City-County Health Department before being elected county treasurer. I'm active in our community and serve on the Local Emergency Planning Committee and as a member of the finance committee at my church.
I have many fiscal duties and responsibilities as your county treasurer, including watching over the county's finances and investments. Our office oversees around $140 million in county funds, along with supervising county investments and managing payroll for some 600 county employees. I serve as the county investment officer, and I'm the only candidate in this race who has extensive experience in budgeting and payroll management.
I don't gamble, and unlike my opponent, I won't gamble your taxpayer dollars in the Wall Street casino. Not only are my opponent's plans to invest public funds in the stock market risky, but they're illegal under Texas law. You may remember the national news stories that swirled when Orange County, Calif., declared bankruptcy because their county treasurer decided to make risky investments in a reckless quest for higher returns. In response to this fiscal disaster, the Texas Legislature passed the Public Funds Investment Act that requires county treasurers to avoid such risky investment schemes.
While my opponent attacks me in the media as being "too conservative" with people's money, I'm proud of my record of stewardship, integrity and transparency. When the recession struck in 2008, I made solid investments that helped minimize the financial blow to our county. I've always been a strong believer in transparency, and as treasurer, I've worked to increase transparency in county government. My door is always open, and I believe transparency is vital for good government and to prevent corruption and fraud. With the recent revelations in this newspaper that my opponent violated state campaign finance and ethics laws by attempting to conceal the sources of large campaign contributions, I ask you to seriously consider who you want to handle millions of dollars of your taxpayer money. It's an honor to serve as your county treasurer, and I ask for your vote in the Republican Primary on Tuesday.
Sean Kennedy is the current Victoria County treasurer. He is running for the nomination in the Republican Party primary on March 4. Voters may contact him with questions or comments at 361-894-2967 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.