The City Council’s decision to move forward with asking voters to change the city treasurer’s job into an appointed, rather than elected, position on the same ballot that the office is up for reelection is unfair to candidates for the job and smacks of political hastiness.
The appeal to Glendale voters to make the change has failed before, but the City Council appears willing to spend at least $26,000 to try again anyway, scared that an unqualified candidate may win the popularity contest and control a roughly $400-million municipal investment portfolio.
For starters, it’s a slight to the electorate to suggest that they would, indeed, vote a financial novice into the city treasurer’s office. But beyond that assumption, the council is effectively asking people to go through the bruising and costly process of running for a public office that may not exist when all the ballots are counted.
So much for encouraging a vibrant and engaged political system.
If the City Council was so desperate to convert the position into an appointment, it should have put the question to voters two years ago midterm, with an affirmative vote taking effect at the 2013 sunset of the Ron Borucki’s current term. But that didn’t happen, and now we’re heading down a path of voter confusion and candidate disenfranchisement.
Perhaps the only compromise at this point is to have any change take effect at the end of the four-year term that starts in 2013. That way, any candidate who wins at least gets to serve a full term before any change to the position. Otherwise, the council can’t possibly hope to be taken seriously when promoting a more involved and active electorate in Glendale.