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Voters too stupid to elect treasurer?

March 21, 2013

I am writing to urge Glendale voters on April 2 to vote “No” on Measure A. Glendale has always had an elected treasurer, and twice in the past voters turned down council-driven attempts to gain exclusive control of the city’s chief investment officer.

Each time the council attempted to sway voters, their arguments have been the same as today: “There is too much at stake to let the voters decide,” or “It shouldn’t be a beauty contest.”

What the supporters of this measure really mean is that we the voters are too stupid, lazy or inattentive to elect someone qualified for the position. Based on the antics of a few of our past (and some might add present) council members, they may be right. Why then would we want to let them decide?

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The independence of the treasurer (whose charter-defined job is to manage the cash of our city) should be of paramount importance. Why would having council choose the treasurer make it better? Do the five of them have something special that the 98,000-plus city voters don't?

By city charter, the council already has enormous control over the city’s investment policy, and in an era of more transparent democracy, greater separation of powers is in everyone’s interest.

Brian Ellis
Glendale

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