It’s official. As of Monday, July 1, Sally Hulse is Osage County Treasurer.
Hulse was appointed by the Osage County Commissioners to fill the seat vacated by retiring Treasurer Joyce Hathcoat.
"Before her retirement, Joyce and I were going into our 25th year of working together," said Hulse. "I’m going to miss her tremendously. We have had a very special relationship."
Hulse said she is the only person in the Treasurer’s office who Joyce did not hire.
"Actually, I am a carry-over from former Treasurer Wilma Blue. I started in October of 1988. The next year, Wilma retired and Joyce became treasurer."
Hulse anticipates the most significant change in the Treasurer’s Office will be a state-of-the art computer system which went into effect July 1.
"At the time our old system was installed in 1987, it was considered premier," explained Hulse. "It was not Windows-based and still had much of the old DOS format. Besides being extremely slow, each process required a series of time-consuming steps. This system also underwent years of modifications. Our technical support was based in Arizona which created downtime because of the two-hour time difference.
"Joyce and I were attending Treasurer’s School. She said if we were going to implement a new system, let’s do it now so I can help you. You can learn it while I keep the office running. I thought that was fantastic. Joyce could have just coasted out. Instead, she has been keeping everything going. We definitely have teamwork in this office."
Hulse explained the new system will be user friendly. Everything is bar coded so statements can be scanned, producing a running total.
"If a taxpayer wishes to delete an item, we can easily do that. No more hand entries mean less chance for error. It will be very good for our taxpayers. Staff members have been getting acquainted with the new system for the past month so we can hit the ground running. Not only are we Treasurer for the entire county, every single entity has an account with us – daily deposits. We are the official depository. We deal with every entity. Our new system will incorporate all systems."
Including Hulse, there are six employees in the Treasurer’s Office; Jackie Warren, Debbie Coon, Brenda Stephens, and Kathy Walker. Osage County Sheriff Depot Lisa Petty provides security.
"I am hoping when people come into the office, we can be as helpful as we have always been," said Hulse. "Our website has been up for a couple of week. It’s user friendly, easy-to-follow and self-explanatory. A couple of years ago we implemented a system where taxpayers could pay their bills online – either by debit or credit card. They will still be able to do this – it will just be easier."
The software accompanying this program will also save the County money with templates for customized-forms, according to Hulse. This alone will ease in the transition.
Osage County is joining 38 other counties in utilizing this program.
"Not only do I have Oklahoma-based tech support, I have these other treasurers I can contact if I run into a problem," said Hulse. "Tom Martin of TM Consulting is the brainchild behind our new program. Years ago, as a data programmer, he began doing a few things for the Garfield’s Treasurer. This soon evolved into an entire system. Tom will be a great go-to guy. It will be wonderful."
Hulse said she is excited about being the county treasurer.
"I’ve been here a long time and think a lot of people already know me," said Hulse. "I just hope I can do a good job and as good as Joyce did with the County’s assets. It’s a big job. It’s a big responsibility."