County to Monitor Investment Strategy
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will be asked to establish a treasury oversight committee to prevent the sort of mismanagement that landed Orange County nearly $2 billion in the red.
The supervisors have little choice. Every county was directed by the state Legislature to form such a committee after Orange County declared bankruptcy in late 1994.
Harold S. Pittman, the Ventura County treasurer-tax collector, is recommending that the board appoint a three-member committee made up of himself, a supervisor and a representative from the county superintendent of schools office.
Pittman was out of town and unavailable for comment.
But Assistant Treasurer John R. McKinney said that Pittman provides supervisors with a monthly report on its investment pool, which routinely hovers between $650 million and $800 million.
“Ventura County has been very conservative in the past,” McKinney said. “For some counties, this is a big deal, but for our county, it’s not. We’ve always reported monthly to the board.”
McKinney said school officials deserve a seat on the proposed oversight panel.
“The schools represent the largest non-county member of the investment pool,” McKinney said. “So it’s important for them to participate and have them sure that they’re comfortable with what’s going on.”
The investment fund provides operating cash to county government, schools and local districts. McKinney said the fund currently has a balance of about $680 million.