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Voters to Decide on Appointing Treasurer

Hoping to ensure that San Clemente’s investments are handled wisely, the City Council voted Wednesday to put a measure on the March ballot calling for the city treasurer to be appointed, rather than elected.

“It’s time to go back and ask the voters if they want a registered voter handling millions and millions of dollars--or do they want somebody who is qualified and sophisticated in investment knowledge handling our funds?” Councilman Scott Diehl said. “Times have changed.”

The city treasurer has historically been elected. But since the collapse late last year of Orange County’s investment pool and the county’s subsequent bankruptcy filing, local officials and voters have been questioning whether that is the best way to choose the person who oversees $40 million to $50 million in reserves.

“If you get someone in there who does not know what they’re doing . . . it could be another disaster,” Councilman Patrick M. Ahle said.

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Adding the question to the ballot next year will cost about $25,000, City Clerk Myrna Erway said.

Finance Director Paul Gudgeirsson has been acting city treasurer since Kenneth E. Carr resigned the position in June.


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