Starr County auditor to finish out term

RIO GRANDE CITY — County auditor Boyd Carter has agreed to stay on board for the remainder of the term despite previously stating he would only be there temporarily. The current term expires on Dec. 31, 2018.

Carter was first appointed interim Starr County auditor by the board of judges May 8 to replace former auditor Rosalinda Guerra, whose term was not renewed.

Carter stressed during a commissioners court meeting held later that month that he would not be there long-term.

“I’m not looking for a second career,” he said at the time. “I told the judges that I’ll come in and help until I can get this ship back on the right course, and then they will find a permanent replacement and I’ll fade off into the sunset and go back to being happily retired.”

But Carter explained that he fell in love with the job.

“I like the people, I like the challenge, I like the job, I like Starr County,” he said. “It’s still only 15 more months, and at the end of 2018 my wife and I will probably make other plans.”

He said his office was in the process of inputting the county’s budget into their computer system — a financial management software called Alio — which was difficult because the system didn’t automatically flag errors.

“The computer system that we’re using is antiquated to say the least,” he said. “The computer system doesn’t do that for us. We have to manually look at it.”

The project was especially important, he said, because every financial transaction the county makes for the rest of the year will be compared to the budget.

The projected general fund revenue of $17,149,300 for the 2018 fiscal year is $546,292 less than what was projected for the 2017 fiscal year.

As a result, Carter said, there would be budget cuts from several departments, including layoffs.

“All the departments were requested to reduce their budgeted expenditures and most departments have done so voluntarily,” he said. “The ones that don’t do it voluntarily will be strongly encouraged to do that.”

When asked to clarify what it meant to “strongly encourage” them, Carter said the county auditor has the authority to not sign checks.

Despite the situation, Carter said he enjoyed the work.

“Nothing is definite,” Carter said. “I can’t predict the future, but for a lot of reasons this is good for me personally and professionally, and the people here in Starr County seem to think I’m doing a good job, so it’s nice to be appreciated.”