Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County Commissioners appoint Kelsey Cornwall as new county treasurer

Stephens County Commissioners appoint Kelsey Cornwall as new county treasurer
November 06
15:19 2023

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

In a special-called meeting this morning, Nov. 6, the Stephens County Commissioners voted to rescind the appointment of Mary O’Dell as County Treasurer and, after conducting interviews, voted to appoint Kelsey Cornwall to the position. After a lunch break, Cornwall was sworn in by County Judge Michael Roach.

The commissioners appointed O’Dell to the position last week after Sharon Trigg submitted a letter of retirement on Oct. 24, following the approval of a new courthouse animal policy that outlawed pets in the courthouse, including Thomas the Courthouse Cat, for whom Trigg was the main caretaker. However, it was later discovered that the commissioners were not allowed to appoint O’Dell to the position because her husband, Eric O’Dell, is a county commissioner. Although Eric O’Dell did not attend the meetings where Mary O’Dell’s appointment was discussed and voted on, state law prohibits anyone on the commissioners court from appointing the relative of another member.

Kelsey Cornwall was appointed as the new Stephens County Treasurer at a special-called meeting today, Monday, Nov. 6. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

At this morning’s meeting, the commissioners interviewed three candidates for the position, Cornwall, Rebecca Anderson and Kord Trammel.

Roach said that all three candidates met the basic requirements for filling the position but that Cornwall stood out because she has been a Certified Public Accountant since 2008 and has extensive, related work experience.

Cornwall has a master’s degree in accounting with a concentration in taxation from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. For the past 11 years, she has worked for Fruit of the Earth, Inc., a skin care products company based in Grand Prairie. In recent years, she has commuted and worked remotely as the controller for the company and said she has been transitioning out of the job.

“It was pretty impressive to have somebody with such credentials to be able to do what needs to be done,” Roach said about Cornwall. “… We’re excited about Kelsey hitting the ground running. And as with any transition, there’s a lot to learn, but I think we felt that … she’ll take it and run with it.”

She will start to work as the Stephens County Treasurer immediately, Roach said, possibly working part-time while she finishes up her work for Fruit of the Earth.

“I am very honored to be selected, for sure,” she said after being sworn in. “… I do believe that I can bring something really helpful to the job, and I’m very interested in diving in and getting to the meat. This is this is what I do for a living.”

Cornwall and her family have lived in Stephens County for three years, Roach said. At the swearing in, she was joined by her husband, Jacob Cornwall. They have a 9-year-old son, Campbell. Her mother, Mary Edwards, also lives in Stephens County.

Mary O’Dell will continue as the assistant treasurer, the position she has had for the past 16 years.

In addition to appointing Cornwall, the commissioners also voted to pay O’Dell the treasurer’s hourly rate for the days she worked in the position, as well as to give her a pay raise, effective immediately, for the assistant treasurer’s job.

Cornwall’s appointment is to serve as the treasurer through the end of 2024. The county will have a special election next year to fill the rest of Trigg’s unexpired, which will end on Dec. 31, 2026. Filing for the unexpired term will begin on Nov. 11, 2023, and continue through Dec. 11, 2023. Any qualified citizen may file to run for the unexpired term, including Cornwall, who said she intends to file to run for the office.

For background information on this story, read the following Breckenridge Texan articles:

Stephens County Judge Michael Roach swears in Kelsey Cornwall as the new County Treasurer, with her husband, Jacob Cornwall, by her side. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Stephens County Judge Michael Roach congratulates Kelsey Cornwall after swearing her in as the newly appointed County Treasurer. Cornwall is a CPA and will start working for Stephens County immediately. Her husband, Jacob Cornwall, right, joined her for the ceremony. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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