There has been a recent dust-up regarding who should appoint the town treasurer.
A recent Town Council vote shifted appointment power of the treasurer position to the town manager. The change gave Doug Robertson the authority to appoint the treasurer which had previously been the responsibility of the Council since Apple Valley’s incorporation.
Before the unanimous vote, Robertson argued that the only time the Council had used the power to appoint the treasurer was when it first incorporated nearly 30 years ago.
That is a fair point. However, Apple Valley resident Al Rice expressed disagreement with the decision at the Council meeting. And he has good reason to express some concern.
Just a few short years ago, we had the huge corruption scandal in Bell where the city manager worked in concert with other senior staff and Council members to enrich themselves with absurdly high salaries and benefits. Now, let me make something very clear. I am not in any way suggesting that there is any corruption like that taking place in Apple Valley.
The concern is ultimately about transparency and accountability. What kind of checks and balances do we have in our system if the city manager is directly overseeing and appointing the treasurer? That should give people a lot of pause, not because they believe something nefarious is happening with the recent appointment, but because of the future possibility of corruption and fraudulent activities if this power is abused.
I believe town residents should have more input on this matter. Some cities in California even elect their treasurer. I would encourage the Council to put that matter before the voters on either the June or November ballot and allow us the opportunity to weigh in and direct policy on this important subject.
Source: Angela Valles, Apple Valley Review