When David U. Flores steps down as Williamson County Auditor on Jan. 1, 2017, he will have served 28 years in his position. Back in 1989 when he was sworn in as county auditor, the county had less than 400 employees and an annual budget of $10.9 million. The county’s bond rating was a low investment grade of BBB-, and the county had to take out a loan to ensure that it would make payroll. However, during his tenure, Flores advanced and shaped the county’s financial policies so that it could better manage the tremendous growth that was imminent and improved the county’s bond rating to AAA, the highest rating possible, as well as increased the county’s cash reserves in the general fund to an estimated $84.2 million.
“Williamson County has been in a continuous mode of growth and change, making it truly a welcomed challenge in working in the Auditor’s role,” Flores said. “I depart with an unusual feeling of fulfillment in the enjoyment of my work and in the accomplishments of the office. Working with a fine staff, the building of our financial strength, investing in road infrastructure, and the progressive work in the transparency of our business are amongst the personal highlights of my tenure.”
The county auditor is appointed by the county’s district judges and has oversight of all financial books and records of all officers of the county in order to provide a “checks and balances” of disbursement of county funds. The duties are varied and include responsibility for the county financials including accounts payable and payroll, certifying revenue during the annual budget process, auditing all county departments for fee collecting and tracking assets, providing cash flows to the county treasurer to assist in investment planning, tracking and auditing county contracts and more. In addition, Flores was given responsibilities over the county’s purchasing process from 1989 to 2005, until it was transitioned back under the commissioners court.
Congressman John Carter (R-TX-31) was the District Judge of the 277th Judicial District in Williamson County when he and District Judge William Lott of the 26th Judicial District hired David Flores as Williamson County auditor.
“David Flores is the epitome of professionalism and integrity, and he has proven that during his nearly four decades of service to Williamson County. He has dedicated his life to service to this community, and I expect he will carry that dedication throughout his retirement,” Carter said. “I am proud to call him friend, and am honored he answered the call when we were recruiting him to Williamson County. I wish him the very best as he and his family enter this new phase in life. Williamson County is the greatest place to live, and that is in due part to the work of David Flores.”
Innovation has been a hallmark of Flores’ years with Williamson County. He converted the county books from a cash basis to an accrual basis in order to improve the county’s bond rating. Due to the county’s over-burdened health care costs for insurance, he worked to move the county to a self-funded program for health insurance in order to better manage the costs. He improved transparency by providing access to all county contracts on the county’s website. He also utilized technology for increased efficiency including implemented usage of Oracle Financials in 1998.
Flores has enjoyed numerous recognitions over the years including being the Jerry Ware Award recipient from the Texas Association of County Auditors in October 2000, receiving the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) Leadership Foundation County Best Practices Innovation Award in 2001 for shifting the paradigm of governmental financial reporting, and in 2003 for contract tracking application, and again in 2000 for the One Minute Purchase Order Program. From 2000 to 2005, he led Williamson County Purchasing to receive the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award from the National Purchasing Institute, and from 2010-2015, the Auditor’s Office received the Texas Comptroller’s “Platinum” Leadership Circle Award for their success in implementing financial transparency online. The Auditor’s Office also was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting annually since 2005 from the Government Finance Officers Association for the United States and Canada, and the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the same group for its comprehensive annual financial report for the past 24 consecutive years. In 2014, Williamson County was presented with the Louisville Award for Innovation in Government Finance for going above and beyond to create a business intelligence system for the public sector, the first fully supported software as a service pack built by and for the public sector to meet reporting requirements in a manner that is transferable to most other jurisdictions.
In addition to serving his community locally, he has served the state as a trustee for the Texas County and District Retirement System from 1994 to 1997, served on the board of directors of the Texas Association of County Auditors in various capacities from 1990 to 1999 to include president from 1995 to 1996 and was the chairman of the Investment Committee for the Texas Association of Counties from 2008 to 2012.
Flores decided not to seek reappointment after his term ends in 2016. The county’s five district judges will meet to appoint his replacement who will serve as the county’s fifth county auditor.