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The last election?

Three elections in five months should be enough to sort out the business of a city of 65,000 people. That should give us about two years of election-free recovery time, that is unless some group of citizens decides our elected officials aren’t paying enough attention to their interests and they write another ballot initiative.

The one remaining election will consist of a mail-in choice between two candidates for city treasurer. How many people know what the treasurer does to earn a tidy sum, well over $100,000 of our hard earned tax money every year? It’s probably worth taking a few minutes to search the city’s municipal code for section 11.1 to find out.

What you’ll discover is that the city treasurer doesn’t really do much. He or she oversees money coming in and money going out. It seems we have a treasurer so we have someone to blame if our money is mismanaged by other city employees. Nevertheless, we need a city treasurer and we will all get to mail in our votes for one of two candidates in July.

You don’t hear that much about Measure A now that Redondo Beach voters have exercised their power of self-governance by rejecting that ridiculous piece of legislation. We need to remember there was an organization called No Power Plant. No Power Plant was Measure A and Measure A was No Power Plant.

A number of candidates attempted to leverage their association with or sympathy for No Power Plant/Measure A to get elected. The citizens of Redondo Beach rejected all but one of them the same way they rejected Measure A.

City treasurer candidate Dawn Esser is the last remaining person seeking elected office in the city who has attempted to use her association with No Power Plant/Measure A for political advantage. I join many of my fellow citizens in hoping she will experience the same fate other aspiring politicians who attached themselves to the divisive, misguided ideas that brought us No Power Plant/Measure A have had to suffer, defeat.

My real interest in this election isn’t to see one candidate lose but to see a more qualified, extremely bright candidate get elected. Steve Diels won’t need to study the city budget to figure out how to perform the duties of treasurer. For the past eight years he has had direct personal, responsibility for that budget as a member of our city council.

Everyone who serves on the council brings his or her own talents and abilities to that work. In eight years of working with the council as a commissioner, I often found myself considering what the council was doing on some issue or item on its agenda. Before I jumped to any conclusions about the wisdom or absence of wisdom of any council action, I always found myself asking one question. What did Steve Diels have to say about the matter?

That doesn’t mean I agreed with him. I probably disagreed more often than not but I knew his opinions would always be thoughtful and represent his genuine interest in doing what’s best for the city. I believe the city is better for having had Steve as a council member. The city has an opportunity to continue benefitting from Steve’s knowledge and experience by electing him our next city treasurer. Check out his qualifications at stevediels.com .

2 thoughts on “The last election?

  1. David Mallen

    Hi Mr. Munns:

    City Treasurer Steve Diels actively campaigned on a promise to reduce the City Treasurer salary by half. I support that idea. Will you support an amendment to the City Charter to reduce the City Treasurer’s position to part-time like other beach cities?

    Since you are in sync with the Hon. City Treasurer, will you ask him when he intends to make good on that campaign promise to put the amendment to the City Charter on the next ballot?


    David Mallen

    1. funbooker Post author

      Mr. Malllen,

      I really haven’t looked at the issue of part time vs. full time city treasurer so I don’t have any facts to back up an opinion one way or another.

      If the city council authorized an audit of any salaried position within city government and that audit determined the people of this city could be served as effectively with a part time employee in that position and it was also determined that an adequate number of qualified candidates were willing to take the position on a part time basis, I doubt I’d be able to argue against hiring a part time employee to fill that position.

      Once you have all that data gathered for the Redondo Beach Treasurer’s position, I’d be happy to render an opinion on the matter. Until that time, it’s little more than a vague, thinly supported hypothetical question which would be impossible for me to answer with anything more than a vague, unsupported answer. But it is an interesting idea and I’d love to hear more about it.

      As far as asking Steve Diels a question, he’s a member of our city staff and as such, you should feel free to ask him any question you want to ask about the workings of the treasurer’s office. You don’t need to run it through me.



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