Harlan E. Boyles
2017 Hall of Fame Inductee
Harlan E. Boyles enjoyed a distinguished tenure with the state of North Carolina. He began his service to government working in the state’s Department of Revenue and later for the Tax Study Commission. For 16 years, he was deputy state treasurer and secretary of the North Carolina Local Government Commission. In 1976, he was elected to serve as state treasurer, and was subsequently re-elected for five more terms, serving a total of 24 years in the office.
Boyles had many accomplishments over the years. He was president of NASACT in 1984, and he served on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
He created the North Carolina Cash Management Trust to help units of government invest their short term moneys safely, and efficiently.
He updated and improved laws, rules and regulations to help local governments more effectively serve their citizens.
He was an early adopter of electronic securities sales to help governments increase acceptance and save money.
Throughout his tenure as state treasurer, North Carolina maintained its superior fiscal reputation and Triple-A rating, saving the state millions of dollars.
Among his many honors, Boyles was named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine and was presented with Distinguished Service Awards from major North Carolina citizen groups.
Boyles was a public servant first, last, and always. He was guided by a simple, but profound, principle – one that he outlined in his book, Keeper of the Public Purse.
“We must never lose sight of the fact that the public purse is what it purports to be. It belongs to the people, not the officeholders who have been entrusted with its safekeeping.”
Harlan Boyles earned universal respect for his conservative approach to the handling of state money and his wise counsel to governors and legislative leaders. He was a true embodiment of fiscal integrity, hard work and honesty.