District judges appoint Smith new Burnet County auditor

By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Burnet County has a new county auditor and purchasing agent after 33rd District Judge Allan Garrett and 424th District Judge Evan Stubbs appointed Karin A. Smith to the position, effective Feb. 4.

The appointment is for a two-year term. Smith will receive an annual salary of $78,167 as auditor plus a $5,000 yearly stipend as the county purchasing agent.

We found Ms. Smith as a result of a very extensive search after we had advertised the position and received several applicants and conducted a number of interviews,” Garrett said. “She was our first choice and we made and she accepted our offer to come to Burnet County. We are pleased to welcome her to Burnet County.”

Smith, a resident of Athens, currently serves as the Anderson County auditor in Palestine, a positon she has held since 2011. As in Burnet County, the Anderson County auditor is appointed by the district judges and serves as chief fiscal officer charged with the general oversight of the financial operations of the county.

A county auditor's primary responsibility is to “oversee financial recordkeeping for the county and to assure that all expenditures comply with the county budget. By law, a county auditor has continuous access to all books and financial records, and conducts detailed reviews of all county financial operations,” according to the Burnet County website.

This includes oversight of county grant administration, payroll, accounts payable, purchasing, competitive bidding and debt management in addition to preparing and presenting the annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and the annual budget.

The auditor is appointed by the county's two district judges and operates independently of the Burnet County Commissioners Court. While the commissioners court is the budgeting body in Burnet County, both the auditor and commissioners court must “approve or reject claims for disbursement of county funds.”

Prior to serving as Anderson County auditor, Smith was the first assistant auditor in Henderson County from 1999 to 2003 and from 2009 to 2011. From 2003 to 2009, she was elected county treasurer and chief investment officer in Henderson County, where she was responsible for managing a $30 million investment portfolio and payroll and personnel for 400 employees as well as management of employee health insurance and benefits and the county's depository contracts.

Smith has a bachelor's degree from Baylor University and a master of business administration from Texas A&M-Commerce. She has earned an award for excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) every year since 2011.

The Government Finance Officers Association, founded in 1906, represents public finance officials throughout the United States and Canada. Its mission is to advance excellence in state and local government financial management.

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