A new auditor has been selected for Bandera County after the previous auditor resigned to take another job, and while county officials wish him well, the pay raise he received rankled at least one county commissioner.
Commissioner Jack Moseley raised questions about the $78,000 annual salary set for Auditor Darryl J. Sadler at the Thursday, Nov. 14, commissioners’ court meeting that examined the salary state District Judge Rex Emerson set for the new auditor.
Moseley said his concern was not as much about the amount of the raise as it was about the fact that commissioners had no say-so in what the new salary would be.
“It’s another unfunded mandate we have to pay for without being given any money to do it,” said Moseley about a raise of about $7,000 a year from the salary paid the prior auditor, Christina Moreno. “To me, it was the principle of the thing…It was something mandated down to the county that we have to pay for, like it or not.”
Moseley said he wishes the county could pay all its employees more than it currently does, but in this instance, he felt the salary for the auditor was set when it went through a budgetary review earlier in the year.
The commissioner said he was surprised to see it jump like it did to secure someone new for office.
“The thing was, it was crammed down our throat,”
He and the other commissioners ultimately approved the order setting Sadler’s annual salary after acknowledging that the district judge, not commissioners’ court, had been given the responsibility for selecting the county auditor and deciding his or her salary.
It was a duty that the Legislature gave to judges in seeking to insulate the auditor’s position, which audits the records and accounts of various county departments and works with the county judge on compiling budget proposals, from political influences in the county.
“We can’t do anything about it,” said Commissioner Jody Rutherford.
The new salary may have been what was required to land a new auditor, some on the court suggested.
Emerson, in an interview after Thursday’s vote, said essentially that was the case.
“It was a reasonable salary for an individual with his job qualifications who was willing to make a longterm commitment to Bandera County,” the judge said.
Emerson said the county posted the job opening on a variety of professional job sites, and it took awhile to identify the right candidate. The judge felt Sadler was the best qualified of the three or four finalists who were selected for the opening.
“He had 25 years of financial management experience, extensive auditing experience, extensive budget management experience and human resources experience, and he worked with multiple agencies at the same time, like he’ll do with county government,” said Emerson.
While that experience was largely with the military rather than with county government, Emerson has high hopes for Sadler.
“I think he’s a quick study, and he’ll pick right up on it,” the judge said.
Sadler, who was sworn into office with the auditor’s staff on Nov. 1, said he was looking forward to new professional challenges in Bandera County after serving in the U.S. Army for more than 25 years and retiring as a chief warrant officer in the Military Intelligence Branch.
He is a native of British Columbia, Canada who spent most of his early life on dairy and hay ranches in the province.
Sadler met and married the former Raschel Brown, who has had family links to Bandera County since the 1940s, while on his first Army assignment at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
He and his family travelled the world over the next 25 years, while Sadler handled finances and office management duties for defense attache’ offices.
He also earned numerous military awards, including several Defense Meritorious Service Medals, an Outstanding Volunteer Service medal and a Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for his efforts during a presidential visit.
Sadler describes himself as an avid volunteer who is co-vice president of the Bandera High School Music Boosters and works with the American Legion. He and his wife have four children, two of whom attend Bandera High.
He replaces Moreno, who left the auditor’s post at the beginning of the month to take a job with a Bandera company.