The Herald Recommends No on Measure L – Keep City Clerk & Treasurer Independent, Yes on M to Rotate the Mayor

At first glance, Measure L on your June ballot in Antioch, seems like a reasonable idea: save the city budget money by making the City Clerk and City Treasurer positions appointed, instead of elected.

The first reason I’ve been opposed to this is simple finances. While it will save about $32,000 per year for the two positions and $12,000 every four years in reduced election costs, the cost to the city for holding the election for this ballot measure is $105,000, which is about three years of savings.

An argument for it is the Treasurer’s job is mostly done by city staff, already.

But the City Treasurer is the people’s independent watchdog over the city’s finances, separate from the city council and staff. If the position is just another hired city staff member, it loses its independence to be another check on how our tax dollars are being spent.

The City Clerk must definitely remain elected because the person in that position oversees our city elections, in addition to the County Clerk. The person in that position should not be beholden to the City Manager, who answers to the five elected council members.

So, I’m recommending a No vote on Measure L.

Measure M, if approved, will change how we choose the Mayor of Antioch from an elected position for four years to one that is rotated among the council members, each year.

While it may be nice to have an elected Mayor, in a General Law City, as Antioch is, the reality is the position is mostly ceremonial.

Besides running the council meetings, the only real power the elected Mayor has is to make nominations of council members to committees on which the they serve and represent the city, as well as to nominate citizens to the various boards and commissions – all with council approval.

The upside of making the change is that we won’t be stuck with someone as Mayor for four years, if he or she turns out to not be so good and we’re not happy with the direction they’re attempting to lead the city.

Plus it gives each council member the opportunity to lead the city for a year – just as it is done in 14 of the other 18 cities in the county.

If it passes, it will go into effect this November. The result will be three council seats up for election, instead of two council seats and the Mayor’s seat. So, I’m voting Yes on Measure M. Both of 

the attachments to this post:

Payton Perspective logo

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply