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July 08, 2011  BY Nicole Galloway

As your Boone County treasurer, I am tasked with monitoring county government’s fiscal health. My responsibilities are essential to making sure we pay our bills and protect your tax dollars.

Nicole Galloway

Nicole Galloway

Given my various duties, I want to spend some time giving you a clear view into my office and how it impacts you.

My No. 1 commitment to taxpayers is to manage the county’s $40 million investment portfolio flawlessly. Fiscal discipline and well-managed finances give us options as a county. Discipline and strong management are essential to having the flexibility we need to repair roads, maintain emergency services and plan for the future.

To meet this commitment, I maintain investments that are short-term in nature, which means the portfolio is continually reviewed and monitored. Constant monitoring ensures investment safety and security, guarantees that investments meet the county’s cash-flow needs and, once these two goals are met, the best investment returns are achieved. I do this by making decisions that mitigate interest-rate risk (risk of the decline in value of a security) and credit risk (the risk the security issuer defaults).

Proper cash flow is important because funds must be available to pay bills in a timely manner. Doing my job correctly means we never have to sell investments prematurely, which eliminates the consequences of interest-rate risk or suffering a loss on an investment. Credit risk is managed by selecting safe investments with the highest security ratings and diversifying the overall investment portfolio. Currently, your tax dollars are invested in United States Treasury notes, U.S. agency bonds, certificates of deposit, top-tier commercial paper and collateralized bank investments.

A crucial consideration when managing a $40 million portfolio is that fund management affects the county’s bond ratings. Rating agencies know the county makes promises it can keep, and that results in a continued strong bond rating. This rating becomes even more real when I issue new bonds for infrastructure projects.

In conjunction with managing the investment portfolio, I also administer the county’s banking services. A critical piece to managing the county’s money is the bank chosen to handle deposits of funds and the issuance of checks. Right now the county has a competitive RFP out for our banking services, and we are fortunate to have many qualified banks in Boone County that are eligible to participate. We choose a bank to handle our business based on which one provides the best value for taxpayers. Some of the factors to consider in the selection process are interest earned on deposits, online banking services and the ability to integrate with the county’s accounting systems.

In addition to overseeing county finances, I am extremely excited to highlight an improved service from my office: returning unclaimed property. Many people are aware that the state treasurer manages unclaimed property for the state but don’t realize the county treasurer returns money held by the county.

My office currently holds about $42,000 in unclaimed property that I want to return to you. These assets come to me when a check written by the county is not cashed, such as checks to vendors or refunds issued by the county to a citizen or company. To make searching for unclaimed property easier, the county treasurer’s website will soon feature a searchable online database. This will be an innovative solution to allow all citizens to quickly and easily find property. We’ll be the fifth county in the state to use such a system.

To be clear, unclaimed property never becomes the county’s property. I hold it for safekeeping for three years, and if not claimed, I turn it over to the state treasurer as required by law, and it’s held there until claimed.

It is an honor to be your Boone County treasurer, and I look forward to keeping you informed of what is going on in county government. My office is here to serve you, and I want your feedback. Visit my office’s website at www.ShowMeBoone.com/Treasurer, and I can be reached at treasurer@boonecountymo.org or by calling (573) 886-4365.