Smith County has hired a new budget analyst with the intent of making the person the county budget officer in the next few years.
Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran introduced the new hire to the Smith County Commissioners Court at a regular meeting on Tuesday.
The county hired Paul Feltus, a former analyst for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy who most recently did budget and statistical analysis for UT Health East Texas.
Feltes’ official first day was Monday. His starting salary information was not immediately available.
Under state statute for counties with fewer than 225,000 people, Moran is currently the county’s budget officer. However, he said when the 2020 U.S. Census comes out, the county will need to appoint a new budget officer or give the duties to the county auditor, currently Ann Wilson.
Moran said he has spoken to Wilson and members of the Commissioners Court who agree that the budget officer position should be separate from the auditor. He said the new budget analyst can be moved into the budget officer position in time for creating the fiscal year 2021 budget.
Feltes, who spent 22 years in the military, told the Commissioners Court that he is excited to continue working in government finance. He said he, his wife, and their young children plan to put down roots in Smith County for many years to come.
Moran said the hiring team looked at as many as 85 applicants and interviewed about 10. He said he knew Feltes was the right person for the job. He said Feltes came with rave reviews, and he said his military service makes him a good fit for the county.
“I’m glad to have Paul on,” Commissioner Terry Phillips said. “I’ve been advocating for a position like this ever since I was elected.”
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