Name: Cheryl Chambers
Current position: 1st Assistant County Auditor
City of residence: Waxahachie for 44 years
Education: Waxahachie High School, UTA and Navarro
Professional credentials/certifications/ commendations (relative to office): Certified Investment Officer
Prior experience (relative to office): 25 years accounting experience: 10 years as Deputy Treasurer, three years 1st Assistant County Auditor, four years title company escrow accountant, five years hospital payroll/accounts payable, three years real estate office manager/accounting.†
Family: Married to Steve Chambers 23 years, two children, Justin, 22, student at Tarleton State University and Stephanie, 18, senior at Waxahachie High School.
Hobbies: Supporting my childrenís activities, fishing, watching movies, raising cattle and hunting with my husband.
QUESTION 1: In your own words, why are you running Ellis County Treasurer?
ANSWER: I am running for County Treasurer because I feel I can make some positive changes to the office that will better serve the taxpayers and citizens of Ellis County.†
In my 13 year career as a public servant, I have had the unique opportunity to work in the Treasurerís office for 10 years as Deputy Treasurer; and, to work in conjunction with the Treasurerís office for three years as First Assistant County Auditor. This experience has allowed me to come to a thorough understanding of the skillset and management skills necessary to run a successful and productive Treasurerís office.†
I possess those skills and will further explain why in the next questions.† I have watched both positive and negative changes in that office over the years, and I will be a positive force by doing a better, more efficient and more cost effective job.
QUESTION 2: In your current term as treasurer, or in your past experience with the treasurerís office, what are some of the improvements or programs that youíve been responsible for implementing that resulted in either dollar savings or more efficiency in government?†
ANSWER: While working in the Treasurerís office as Deputy Treasurer for 10 years, I made many cost saving changes and improvements.† I put together the first Ellis County Employeeís Health Fair, and organized it for the next four years as well.† These fairs were effective in keeping the health care premiums at a manageable level, by having screenings that caught diseases in the preliminary and maintenance stages, as opposed to not catching them until the catastrophic and more expensive stages.†
This led to a better quality of life for our employees, and the County also received a two percent reduction in our premiums because of this program which resulted in an approximate $50,000 savings for taxpayers.†
I also implemented the direct depositing of county payroll.† It has been proven in studies across the country that entities save anywhere from $1.25 to $1.75 per transaction by direct depositing as opposed to cutting a paper check.†
When you consider that the county has 26 pay periods and 575 employees, of which approximately 465 participate in direct deposit, you can see that the County saves approximately $15,000 to $20,000 every year from this program.
As deputy treasurer, I also moved the bank reconciliation process to a computer process instead of a paper based process, and I ensured that all accounts were balanced monthly.†
Additionally, it must be pointed out that while serving as deputy treasurer, the office also handled human resources and investments, which are currently in other county offices.
QUESTION 3: In your opinion, what makes you the best candidate for the office of Ellis County Treasurer?
ANSWER: I am the best candidate for the office of County Treasurer for several reasons.†
First, I have 25 years accounting experience.† With my 10 years in the Treasurerís office I will be able to step right in on day one. I pay close attention to detail and will follow through with planned innovations. I am a person of action not just talk.
I am dedicated to getting the job done and will personally take responsibility for all duties.† I recognize the importance of balancing all the countyís bank statements each and every month, and I will ensure that it is done. I have the experience and expertise to balance the statements without relying on other departments.
QUESTION 4: What are some of your goals or enhancements that you would like to implement over the next four years as Ellis County Treasurer?
ANSWER: I have several innovations planned for when I take office.† I will implement Positive Pay, which is a more secure system of check issuance that will lessen the potential for fraud for the County. I will implement a direct deposit system for vendor payments which will reap cost savings similar to those realized at implementation of direct deposit for employee payroll.†
I will enhance the countyís tracking process for incoming credit card payments, and I will resume monthly reporting of the treasurers reports to commissionerís court. I also think itís important to point out that this will not require any additional monetary investment as the county currently has the capability to make this happen, and I will see that it is done.
QUESTION 5: Do you plan on being a full-time treasurer and being involved on a day-to-day basis with the operations of the treasurerís office?
ANSWER: Yes, I will work as Treasurer for as many hours as it takes to get the job completed, and will not be absent from my duties and responsibilities to this office.†† You can expect and should demand a full dayís work for a full dayís pay.
†I have a proven track record of commitment to my job and my exemplary attendance will continue as an elected official.
QUESTION 6: Over the past eight years, the role of Ellis County Treasurer has been greatly reduced in county government, past duties such as human resources, investments, etc., have been moved to other offices. What role do you see the treasurerís office having in the future of Ellis County government?
ANSWER: I believe the Treasurer can be a valuable team player and serve as an additional resource for human resources and other county departments.†
Additionally, I have spoken with the County Auditor, and we intend to ask the Commissionerís Court to move the investment duties back to the Treasurerís Office once I am elected.†
I have completed my training as a Certified Investment Officer, but most importantly, I have 13 years of hands on experience assisting both the County Treasurer and County Auditor in performing their investment obligations, so I will be comfortable in that role.† I see the role of County Treasurer evolving back into being a more involved member of the Countyís financial management team, rather than just serving as the Countyís banker.
QUESTION 7: Please describe your background in this community and any previous background which might be beneficial to the office of Ellis County Treasurer?
ANSWER:† I was a member for four years and served two years as Treasurer for the Waxahachie Lady Indian Volleyball Booster Club. This organization raised funds to supplement school tax dollars to promote young athletes in our school district.†
I served six years as a member and two years as Treasurer for, Beta Sigma Phi, a civic organization that raised money for several organizations such as the Rainbow Room at the Texas Baptist Home, Waxahachie Care, and the Womenís Resource Center.†
I served on the board for Waxahachie Care for four years.† Waxahachie Care provides food and other assistance to people falling on hard times.†
I am a public servant at heart.† Each day as County Treasurer will be another day of opportunity to serve, and another opportunity to put your tax dollars to work for you.