In April, voters will decide whether to change the elected city treasurer position into an appointment made by the Glendale City Council. But they will simultaneously be asked on the same ballot to vote for a city treasurer candidate.
It's a setup that not only has the potential to create confusion at the polls, but also to discourage qualified candidates from getting into a potentially costly and bruising race that, in the end, could all be for naught. We're talking countless hours at meet-and-greets, volunteer support, thousands of dollars on campaign materials — and all with the likelihood that voters could throw that significant effort down the drain by voting to turn the post into an appointment.
When the City Council on Tuesday voted to put the measure on the ballot, this should have been addressed more thoroughly. It's a disservice to the electorate to force its hand by essentially saying on the ballot: “See? No one qualified felt like running for city treasurer this year, so you should probably just vote to turn it into an appointment to be made by us.”
We suggest City Council members either publicly pledge, or better yet, write into the ballot language, that if the measure passes, they will appoint whoever wins the race for city treasurer for a one-year term before considering other candidates for the post. It's not the best solution, but given that the train has already left the station, it would at least take some of the edge off an otherwise dicey decision for potential candidates.