The election for Harris County Treasurer usually flies under the radar. It’s one of those “down ballot” races that doesn’t grab attention like the Governor’s race. But the role is greatly underestimated, as the Treasurer overseas all money coming into, and going out of, the county’s depository bank. This means the Treasurer is the last line of defense for taxpayers. If taxpayers care about how their money is being spent, then this could be the most important office on the ballot in November 2022.
Going into COVID in March 2020, Harris County had $313 million in a reserve fund. That fund was spent down to $40 million by February 2021. The County Judge admitted that $221 million was spent on COVID-related expenses. But the math does not add up. If $221 million was spent and there is a $40 million balance, that means $52 million has gone unaccounted for.
Remember: Harris County received more than $900 million in COVID relief funds. Any reasonable person would ask why raiding the reserve fund was necessary in the first place.
It is the duty of the Treasurer to make sure the money adds up, and if it does not, to let the taxpayers know something is amiss. The current Democrat Treasurer has not kept the taxpayers informed, nor has he protected taxpayers against this irresponsible accounting and spending.
The government is supposed to protect citizens. The democrats on Commissioners Court have taken steps to deprive Harris County Constables of necessary resources. Just this year, $20 million was taken from Constables. Taxpayers and law enforcement have no idea how that money was spent. The Treasurer, a Democrat, did not keep taxpayers informed nor did he take the authorized steps to prevent these funds from being reallocated. As a result, the Democrats made our neighborhoods less safe.
The Treasurer should work with Commissioners Court to represent the interests of the taxpayers. But the Treasurer’s first allegiance is to the taxpayer. When necessary, the Treasurer must act in defense of the taxpayers to make sure their money is being managed in a way that protects and serves their interests and not special interests or party loyalists.
The Harris County Treasurer is the taxpayer’s last line of defense against wasteful spending, pet projects, and misappropriation of funds. This makes the role of the Treasurer one of the most important in the county for taxpayers. This is why you should vote in the Treasurer’s race, and it is also why I am running to be the next Harris County Treasurer.