By Lisa Morton
Today is Amalia “Molly” Hernandez’ final day serving as the Culberson County Tax Assessor-Collector in Van Horn. Molly retires after 35 years in the same office and 44 years total, having worked 9 years in the Hudspeth County Tax Office in Sierra Blanca.
Molly says that she prayed for a good job while attending Sul Ross State University in Alpine. Molly wanted to help support her then single mother, and her family. She was just 21 when her prayers were answered and she was hired in the Hudspeth County Tax Office, becoming their Deputy Clerk.
Her experience in Hudspeth County landed her the same position in Culberson County, where after 4 years she was appointed by Judge John Conoly to the unexpired term for retiring Tax Assessor-Collector, Mildred Straley. Molly’s first run for the elected office of Culberson County Tax Assessor-Collector was in 1990, edging out three opponents. She continued to pray for this position for 35 years drawing only a few opponents in just a couple of races in all that time.
She has seen many changes with the office and with staff through the years noting that Motor Vehicle Registration processing was separate from the tax office at one time. The office required multiple certifications and the need to advance through the years. She found herself having to embrace new technology that would replace the long carriage typewriter and other equipment used in the tax office for spreadsheets, reports and other business.
Molly said having good customers was an inspiration for her, noting that the elderly in the community were most respectful, which made her feel trusted. “I want to thank the whole community for putting their trust in me in all these years, and I thank God for making this possible”, said Molly. She is coming full circle and will be taking care of family that needs her and driving her husband crazy full-time.
Culberson County has been well served by Molly Hernandez for 35 years and her tenure is an inspiring example to others who are in public service.