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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of Capitola
Measure K - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passing

3,000 votes yes (64.91%)

1,622 votes no (35.09%)

Changing Treasurer from Elected to Appointed
— undefined

In order to assure that the City of Capitola's finances are overseen by a trained and qualified individual, shall the office of City Treasurer be changed from elective to appointive?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Anthony Condotti, Capitola City Attorney

Under California law, general law cities like Capitola are required to have a city council, city manager, city clerk and city treasurer.  The position of a city treasurer was initially an elected position at many cities throughout the state. However, California law allows cities, with voter approval, to make the city treasurer an appointed position. 

As professionally trained staffs have become commonplace, many cities have switched to appointing a treasurer, usually the current finance director, rather than electing one. The City of Capitola took a similar approach to the city clerk position, with voters approving making that position an appointed office in 1994. Today, all of Santa Cruz County’s other jurisdictions and approximately two-thirds of the state’s cities have appointed treasurers.

At the June 28, 2018, regular meeting, current elected Treasurer Peter Wilk proposed transitioning his position from elected to appointed.  At its July 26, 2018, meeting, the City Council ordered that this Measure be placed on the November 6, 2018, ballot which, if approved by the voters, would change the position of city treasurer from an elected to an appointed position.  Appointments would be made by the City Council.  The Measure requires a simple majority to pass.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

The City Treasurer is a complex job requiring a highly trained individual. Most California cities and all Santa Cruz county cities, except Capitola, appoint their treasurers. We appoint only our City Clerk. In the last 5 elections the treasurer candidate ran unopposed. This trend allows potentially unqualified candidates to become treasurer. Converting the treasurer from an elected position to an appointed one will ensure that only a qualified person fills this position.

Capitola’s daily financial tasks are performed by the Finance Director and accounting staff. Capitola’s municipal code provides no role for the treasurer. The Finance Director may be appointed treasurer, thereby eliminating redundant bureaucracy.

Oversight of Capitola’s finances is performed by the Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) consisting of 7 citizen volunteers. Two volunteers are City Council members. Capitola is also audited by an independent accounting firm (reviewed by the FAC) that reports to the City Council twice a year.  These safeguards make an elected treasurer unnecessary.

Most importantly, the role of City Treasurer creates a dangerous conflict of authority between Capitola municipal code and state guidelines. An elected treasurer reports to no other city official and can claim authority which neither our municipal code nor our City Council intends. This conflict can cause confusion and inefficiencies whenever the treasurer and city officials have conflicting agendas. This conflict has happened in Capitola and should be prevented from happening again. An appointed treasurer will meet the requirements of the state but will also comply with the needs of Capitola by being responsible to our City Council.

The City Council voted unanimously to put this measure on the ballot. Join your current ELECTED City Treasurer and vote for an APPOINTED City Treasurer. Eliminate the conflict.

Peter Wilk
Capitola City Treasurer

Michael Termini
Mayor City of Capitola

Stephanie Harlan
Capitola City Council Member

 

Arguments AGAINST

No Argument Against Measure K was filed.

More information

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