Loris-County treasurer offers new services to residents!
If anyone can make the job of Horry County treasurer sound fun and exciting, it is its current leader, Angie Jones.
“Lordy, I love coming to work,’’ she said. “I get so excited because we work hard here, but we have a good time doing it.’’
The 43 year old Aynor native is enthused about new services that make it easier for residents to pay their bills online for free and switching out the out-of-state company collecting payments to save the county money and give the business to a local bank.
But even when her office ended up getting into the mix of a fitsnews.com story having to do with gossip about a staffer of hers dating a former local politician, she remained upbeat and laughed the story off. It all had come out just prior to the interview, on the site for news junkies, which turned out not to gain any traction. A stranger was sending her and others threatening texts.
“My dad was over at the house and he said, ‘Is it all worth it?’
“I said, ‘Dad it is. The joy I get out of meeting people and interacting with the citizens of the county and fixing stuff? I just love it.’ … Besides, who my staffers date is none of my business.”
Jones is enthused about a new printer system that will enable people to receive their annual vehicle decals after paying the property taxes right in the office, whereas before, people have to either go to the DMV or remember to mail their receipts to it. The office is working on getting the system up and running now.
When a Charlotte, N.C., company was charging the county a good deal of money and also sending back boatloads of checks mauled by an automatic machine, Jones and her team decided to bid the service out so that residents would no longer have to send a check to an out of state address, “which people told me when I was campaigning that they did not like.’’ Conway National Bank won the bid and may well add staff to help the process, creating local jobs. Jones says this will create a seamless system for the county to get notice of checks sent, taxes paid.
People can also now pay their bill online without being charged a processing fee.Jones said she is hoping to next do the same for hospitality and business taxes.
But she credits her staff with making the office work more effectively.
“I am only as good as my team and I’d put my team right here against any other in the country,’’ she says. “We sit in here every week (at the conference room table). We do team building exercises. We discuss ‘what do we need to do next?’ If I have an idea and they don’t like it, or think it will not work, I’ll get shot down. They’re the ones doing the work and they can see why something isn’t going to work. It’s all a group decision,’’ she said.
Her enthusiasm and appreciation for her job and her staff comes through as authentic. She recently hosted a wedding shower for one of her staffers at her house. “We are a family here,’’ she says.
When there appeared to be a situation with her staffer being bullied by someone from another office as part of the nobody’s-business relationship fracas, Jones told her staffer to make sure she didn’t leave the office without someone with her and left it at that.
Jones had been deputy treasurer for 12 years before being elected to her position. She also worked as the advertising director for The Loris Times.
When she came into office, the treasurer’s finances were unavailable and it took her initiating a lawsuit against the county, which resulted in many stories and cartoon depictions of her legal battle that are hung up on the walls of the office. She laughs at them.
“But we got all that worked out; it’s all behind us,’’ she said. “I knew we would.’’
One person who is a staunch supporter of Jones and her efforts to modernize the office is Horry County Superintendent Ken Richardson.
“As you probably know the Horry County Schools are Angie‘s largest client,’’ Richardson said. “She collects, manages and distributes all of our money. I can honestly say I sleep better at night knowing Angie handles our money. She is always just a phone call away and always calls me back the same day. Horry County is lucky to have such a talented young lady as our treasurer.’’
Jones, who also teaches at the college level at both Horry Georgetown Technical College and Webster’s University online, speaks enthusiastically about teaching young people personal finance and what she gains from her relationship with them. “I tell them to check their bank account every day. I tell them I check mine in the morning and at night. We discuss mobile home depreciation – things I know from being on this side of the business. We discuss all kinds of things.’’
Approachable and friendly, she can talk just as enthusiastically about her dog, a yellow lab who loves to chase tennis balls into the pool, and her two cats, one of whom, a rescue, sits on its back haunches like a kangaroo. She shows pictures of her brood from her phone. She posts pictures of them on Facebook, as well.
“I don’t have time for a relationship,’’ she said. “But I have two nephews who I spoil rotten.’’