HomeNewsQ&A: Williamson County Treasurer

Q&A: Williamson County Treasurer

Scott Heselmeyer is the incumbent in the office of Williamson County Treasurer. He has held the position since he was appointed  in March 2017. He is being challenged by LeeAnn Seitsinger, a US Navy Veteran, real estate broker and owner of Tula Properties in Williamson County. The winner will oversee the county’s $327 million budget and disbursement of funds to the sheriff’s office and parks and recreation and road and bridge departments. The Advocate invited both to respond to our “apples-to-apples” survey
to educate voters on the candidates for the Republican primary March 6, 2018.

Scott Heselmeyer

Please describe the education and experience you believe qualifies you as Treasurer.

I have an undergraduate degree in Agribusiness from Texas A&M and a law degree from Georgetown University.  I have practiced law in Williamson County for 14 years, representing primarily small to mid-sized businesses, real estate investors, and lenders.  In this capacity, I have dealt with multi-million-dollar banking and real estate transactions on a daily basis.  For the past several years I have also served on the board of a local community bank.  The County Treasurer serves as the county’s financial manager, and these experiences provide me with a unique skill set for that role.  That skill set has been reflected in the results that we have produced in my short time leading the Treasurer’s office – significantly increasing the rate of return on the county’s investments and bringing all aspects of the office into statutory compliance, all while implementing conservative budget reductions.

Do you believe our budget/investment system is effective? What makes it so or what changes do plan to advocate?

As Williamson County has grown, the sophistication of its investment systems has not always kept pace.  The County Treasurer now manages a half billion-dollar portfolio, and effective management of that portfolio is a key element to maintaining the county’s elite AAA bond rating.  During my time leading the County Treasurer’s office, we have worked tirelessly to improve the county’s investment system.  We have done this through implementing new cash flow planning and laddering systems.  As a result, in less than 12 months, the rate of return on the county’s investments has increased more than 40%.  Going forward, we will continue to improve and streamline these systems and create a replicable process to help ensure that we are always safely maximizing return.

If elected, what will you do to help reduce the County’s tax debt/burden?

Williamson County is one of only a handful of local governments in the country that holds a AAA bond rating.  The loss of that AAA rating would cost Williamson County Taxpayers millions of dollars per year in additional interest costs.  The first and most important thing that the County Treasurer can do is to continue managing the county’s financial accounts and investments in a professional, expert manner, which has been cited as a key element to that bond rating.  The County Treasurer’s office is also the largest income-producing department in the county, and not a dime of that income comes from taxpayers.  The County Treasurer can help reduce the burden on tax payers by effectively managing the county’s investments.  In the last year, we increased the return produced by the County Treasurer’s office by over $2 million.  That increase alone would cover about 7.5% of the county’s annual interest expense.   

What guidelines/mechanisms do you implement that keep you accurate and organized?

The County Auditor audits every function of the Treasurer’s office on an annual basis.  Every audit conducted during my term has been spotless, and they will continue to be so because of organizational and accountability systems that have been implemented in the office.  We implement dual accountability in all functions, cross-train all functions within the office, and are establishing detailed, easily replicable written procedures for each employee and each function within the office.  This ensures organization and accuracy within the office and ensures that these essential functions remain accurate in the event of absence or turnover within the staff.  I’m proud of the work our staff is doing and the sterling reputation that we have earned within the county for accuracy and reliability.

Why should voters support you?

The election of a County Treasurer is a job interview.  I have the right qualifications to do the job.  More importantly, I have already been doing the job with great success.  This is a challenging role in a rapidly changing environment, and my staff and I are implementing financial management systems that will help ensure the county’s financial success for many years to come.  The taxpayers of Williamson County can’t afford to provide on-the-job training to a candidate without these experiences and qualifications.


Leeann Seitsinger

Please describe the education and experience you believe qualifies you as Treasurer.

My math and science based education and early professional experience have given me an excellent base on which to build my career path leading to this role. The four main focuses of my degree were strategy, budgets, objectives, and communication. I’ve been a business owner for the past twelve years managing all aspects of multiple companies, from personnel to revenue management. I am familiar with tasks specific to role of Treasurer such as detailed reporting of receipts and expenditures, disbursing funds, and reconciliation. In business, I’ve managed millions of dollars in contracts and transactions annually. I have a strong background in disciplined strategy and communication as well as revenue management. But let me point out, while individual qualifications are important for every role, the Treasurer’s office is not one person. The support staff is highly experienced and the circadian procedures are well established.  Vivian Wood; who served as our county treasurer for over 20 years and knows the extensive accountability systems already in place, has endorsed me because she knows my experience in detail and knows the Treasurer’s office requires a strong dedicated and innovative leader.

Do you believe our budget/investment system is effective? What makes it so or what changes do plan to advocate?

The budget and investment system has seen improvements over time, but there is still more that can be done. With new innovative strategies and more oversight, the savings and gains for tax payers could be significant. There are three investment pools that get invested in accordance with laws that are guaranteed, however, significant costs are associated with their management. I would implement strategies which allow the office to have more control and bring some of the management back in house. We also need to do a better job of making sure the savings and the returns are not overestimated. We will integrate our efforts with third party investment support to boost return but with the oversight and management we will have the ability to do it safely. And with more of a public tax payer focus we will do it with transparency. It is difficult now for the public to understand certain decisions or activities of the office, and that is unacceptable. Complete and up-to-date transparency will be a priority day one.

If elected, what will you do to help reduce the County’s tax debt/burden?

The debt and burden on Williamson County is one of the most paramount issues we face. In 2012 we were at fourth place out of the entire state of Texas, and knowing how high our county debt is compared to the rest of the state per capita set off a red flag for me. Reducing cost of investment management will be key, along with partnering with other county officials in new strategies that allow us to reduce the county’s debt as a team. Additionally, I want to ensure transparency is utilized when bonds go up for a vote. Voters need to be made aware of our current debt level, and be given insight into how each bond would affect the debt and our County’s burden if the bond is passed. Currently, the primary piece of information disseminated to the voters through advertisements such as mailers and commercials is paid for by Big-Money contract groups with an aim to grab tax funds and make a quick profit regardless of the true benefit to the community.

What guidelines/mechanisms do you implement that keep you accurate and organized?

I’ve learned and honed over many years, being in the military, a mother of a son on the autism spectrum, a wife, a volunteer, and a business owner, the importance of mechanisms to stay organized and specifically on track. I have multiple guides and proven life hacks I employ; including prioritizing, using technology to your advantage (not letting it use you), streamlining your tasks, keeping instructions simple and specific, and observing a strict schedule. As my son aged he learned to be more flexible, but early on, it was critical for us to develop a specific and disciplined strategy for our daily lives. However, simply developing routines was not enough, we had to facilitate an environment that was controlled but that also invoked a strategic level of growth and safe new experiences. This quickly carried over into our entire family as well as my businesses.

Why should voters support you?

My background in math, budgeting, and business development, along with my experience in the US Navy, and my personal growth as a family, business, and community leader has specifically lead me to and trained me for this role. But beyond executional experience, this role is about leadership and commitment. As a veteran, I believe public servants should report for duty and show up every day fully focused for the taxpayers they serve. I’ve served Williamson County for many years in multiple capacities, and I now want the opportunity and honor to continue that commitment by being a steward of the funds and data entrusted this office. These are not just numbers on a digital dashboard an appointed or Big-Money group of good ol’ boys get to play with in their spare time. This role leads the next era of success for the hard earned funds of this county’s citizens and the difference that makes to the community.

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