NAME: Rafael Hernandez
OCCUPATION: Winemaker/Owner Texas Vineyard & Smokehaus
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree, Glassboro State College; MBA, University of Houston
NAME: Tara Lambright Holliday
OCCUPATION: Anderson County First Assistant County Auditor
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree, University of North Texas, May 2007
Q: What are your qualifications for the job?
I managed organizations of up to 145 soldiers while in military service. I served as training director for the Houston Police Department and have served as treasurer for the Forest Cove Property Owners Association and for the Pinewoods Wine Trail Association. As a business owner, I am responsible for the day-to-day operation of Texas Vineyard & Smokehaus, including customer relations, budgeting, accounting and inventory — above all, operating within the budget using checkbook economics. I decided to seek the treasurer's office after seeing an article about a payment to the IRS where taxpayers paid $1,404 in penalties/interest on a $68.41 bill.
After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas in 2007, I returned home to Palestine and began working for Anderson County. I currently serve as first assistant county auditor. Over the last six years I have had the opportunity to audit and work closely with the treasurer’s office. I am aware of the duties and statutory requirements of the office of county treasurer and will be able to work from day one without having to waste tax payer dollars training and evaluating procedures. I am also familiar with the Public Funds Investment Act which governs county investments.
Q: What do you believe are the most critical issues facing the county treasurer's office?
Lack of leadership — the county treasurer's office has been in the state of turmoil the past four years. Financial reports to the commissioners' court have not been made in a timely fashion. Employees have been doing their job with little or no direction, no one to turn to for instructions or assistance in the decision making process and no one to beheld accountable to. This has had a demoralizing effect on the way the office performs and how employees feel about their job and themselves. I want to bring back a sense of respectability, teamwork, pride and employee satisfaction.