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2016-06-02

Reeves, Rozlyn & ‘new direction’

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

When people retire from public service for “personal reasons,” “to go in a new direction” and “to spend more time with family,” everyone thinks, “Uh, oh!”
However, when Bandera County Treasurer Billie Reeves announced her retirement at commissioners court on Thursday, May 26, all the above reasons applied – and how!
“I felt I needed to do this after accompanying my daughter, Rozlyn, to the College National Finals Rodeo in June 2015,” Reeves said in an interview on Wednesday, May 25. That year, her daughter became the Southern Region Barrel Racing champ and was also designated Southern Region All Around Cowgirl.
This summer in Caspar, Wyoming, will be Rozlyn and Ranger’s third and final college competition as she graduated this spring from Southwest Texas Junior College. “She had a four-year full ride on a rodeo scholarship. Rozlyn has no college loans to pay off,” Reeves said proudly.
Rozlyn’s coaches, Roy and Pam Angermiller, were equally as enthusiastic, stating collectively, “Rozlyn will be facing this year’s competition with both the confidence and the ability to bring home a national championship title.”
Parenthetically, Rozlyn’s partner, Ranger, was born on the Reeves’ ranch in Pipe Creek. “We raised and trained him,” Reeves said. “We still have Ranger’s mama and we’re thinking about breeding her again.” Additionally, Reeves and her daughter “do little horse training on the side.”
It was clear that while Rozlyn was competing on the college rodeo circuit, her mom was itching to be there, cheering her on. Now, thanks to a painful decision, that itch is about to be scratched.
Next week, Reeves, her daughter and Ranger, the 10-year-old racing Quarterhorse, will trailer up to Wyoming where Rozlyn will compete in the 2016 College National Finals Rodeo, June 12 through June 18. Rozlyn, 22, is currently ranked third in the United States.
“After that, she wants to get her pro card and turn professional,” Reeves said. “She’ll hit the circuit and we’ll go wherever it leads us. It’ll be tight, but this is something we both want – and sitting behind a desk is just not me.”
According to her calculations, Reeves has been desk-bound for seven and a half years – the last six and a half as county treasurer. “I’ve been through two elections and have been blessed never to have drawn an opponent,” she said. Referring to her county colleagues, she said, “This is like one big family. There’s no ‘good ole boys’ here – and I’m serious about that. I’ve made wonderful friends.”
Reeves continued, “I’m a big advocate of county government and local control. I will always support having the treasurer’s office separate from that of the county auditor. It brings an excellent system of checks and balances to the table.”
She reiterated that statement in court the next day after Precinct 4 Commis-sioner Jordan “Jody” Rutherford voiced his opinion on the subject.
“Many surrounding counties do not have a treasurer and those duties have been taken over by the auditor,” Rutherford said.
“I beg to differ with you,” Reeves rejoined. “Only Bexar County has that set-up. This division allows for checks and balances that would otherwise be missing.”
To forestall further discussion, Judge Richard Evans advised Rutherford, “If you want to pursue that, fine, but it’s not on the agenda today.” Reportedly, it would take several legislative sessions to change the current setup.
After reluctantly accepting Reeves’ notice of retirement, the court unanimously appointed Assistant Treasurer Terry Wheeler as treasurer until the General Election in November.
“Terry, you have a new job, congratulations,” Evans said.
Reeves had recommended Wheeler for the position, saying, “Terry is a valuable player in the office. He has character, integrity and works hard.” Wheeler took the oath of office during a special-called meeting of commissioners court on Tuesday, May 31.
In the earlier interview, Reeves felt confident that Wheeler would continue her office’s open door policy. “No matter what questions or issues taxpayers have, he’ll be there to help.”
For her part, Reeves still intends to be a part of the fabric of the county. She’ll continue serving on the Child Welfare Board as well as with the Bandera County Republican Women. However, there is that “new direction” she and Rozlyn will be heading toward.