Continuing the series on Wise County elected officials from the Bridgeport Index. This is about Katherine Hudson an active Republican, reprinted by permission of Bridgeport Index.
Wise County Treasurer, Katherine Hudson
by Debi Porter
Description of Office:
• Receives and deposits all county revenues.
• Acts as chief liaison between the county and depository banks.
• Prepares the payroll.
• Disburses funds upon the order of the Commissioners Court.
• Records receipts and expenditures and reconciles bank statements.
• May be designated as the county’s investment officer and required to submit regular reports on county finance to the members of the Commissioners Court.
• May also act as the county’s human resources officer, employee benefits coordinator, risk manager and insurance coordinator.
The Wise County Treasurer Katherine Hudson fulfils all those duties and explains, “The county treasurer is the hub for all the money to go through. Every department brings daily deposits to the treasurer. We don’t see as much general public as we do other county departments. Any department that collects money brings us that deposit daily. We receive by line item into the general ledger account. Like on court monies, every quarter we have to send money quarterly to the state. 90% of most court costs go to the state that is just on the court cost part of it.”
“We report to the state because money coming in is not all local. A lot of justice of the peace money and money that the clerks take in are assessed by the state depending on what type of filing that is being done. Fees are court costs, fines are charged on top of fees,” stated Ms. Hudson. “From there we disperse the money wherever it needs to go. All fine monies from JP offices goes to road and bridge, split equally between the four precincts. The tax office collects money and part goes to road and bridge and part to the general fund, based on the tax rates.”
“There are probably 25 accounts I balance each month. In a budget you have different lines that certain things are charged to, such as tires are charged to a line item or salaries are charged to a line item, or office supplies are charged to a line item, and there are many line items within each account.”
“The auditor makes sure I am doing my job correctly and they come in quarterly and do ‘spot checks’ on different things, whether it is on payroll or receipting, what kind of money we have in our drawer, that type of stuff.”
Ms. Hudson has worked for the county in the treasurer’s department for 31 years and has been treasurer for 19 years. She worked under the previous county treasurer for 12 years.
“I am not really involved in the county budget. The majority that I have to do with the budget is making sure that the auditor and the judge have any type of personnel costs that will affect the county. That would be things like the correct rates for unemployment, retirement, insurance rates and benefits, etc. Usually the judge and I work on health insurance rates together. That is the biggest portion of my involvement with the annual budget.”
“We maintain all of the human resources in this office. One employee is dedicated to just human resources. It is a full time job with 400 county employees,” stated the Treasurer.
Ms. Hudson commented when asked what she liked about her position, “I like numbers. I like the feeling of accomplishment when an account is in balance. I like the feeling when someone checks the numbers and says everything is good, that is another feeling of accomplishment. You did your job correctly.”
There are three employees in the treasurer’s office. One is designated strictly for human resources. She does fill in other places when needed. One employee is responsible for all the time keeping for the county and also receives the money daily with another employee.
“About six months ago we went 100% live with a computerized time keeping system, where each department head now has control and access over that department. They can see daily what their employees are doing. Before we would have to send them a report on any questions they might have. Now they can access it and see everything that happens,” stated Ms. Hudson.
“The busiest time of year for the treasurer’s office is September through January, because by the time I get everything input into the computer from the annual budget and balanced then it is time to do the ‘end of year’. It is time to issue w2’s and 1095’s for taxes.”
“I don’t have a lot of interaction with local businesses or the general public beyond participating in events like a fire department fund raiser and things like the chambers of commerce. The only public that generally comes into this office would be someone that has to pay a subdivision fee or something like that. They come here because there is not a department that collects that money per se, so they come through us.”
Ms. Hudson prefers to work behind the scenes. “I don’t like being in the spotlight,” she stated. The love of Katherine Hudson’s life is her five grandchildren with a sixth on the way. All are under the age of three so family time is hectic and fun. There are four boys and one girl now. “I’ve lived in every part of the county except the Rhome/Boyd area.” She and her husband presently reside near Balzora. In her free time, besides playing with grandkids, she does a little canning, motorcycle riding and camping. She is married with six children.