Clearly I wasn’t going to be able to make it though the entire City Council meeting last night. Instead going to write about the first real interesting news about the election in November. According to Steven Tavares at the East Bay Citizen after years of uncontested elections we finally have a race for City Treasurer and City Auditor. Naturally Kevin Kennedy and Kevin Kearney are both going into the race with considerable name recognition but one of the two of their possible opponents has a fair bit of name recognition himself: former School Board Member Mike McMahon.
Mike McMahon will go head to head vs Kevin Kearney which should make for an interesting match up given the candid and blunt approach that both men. Even more interesting is the purpose of Mike McMahon running: possibly eliminating the elected position of City Auditor altogether, from twitter:
Given how there has been an unwritten expansion of the scope and role of the City Treasurer and City Auditor scrutiny into these positions would be welcome, even a consolidation of the roles would make more sense given how little is expected of these positions under the Charter.
The election of the City Treasurer will pit a less known Alamedan against Kevin Kennedy: Jeff Bratzler. According to the Charter the person elected as Treasurer must be a Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Financial Planner. Both Kevin Kennedy and Jeff Bratzler are both Certified Financial Planners. Jeff Braztler, however, was a member of the 2012 pension task force.
The benefit of an actual contested election will be the necessary discussion about these roles in the age of outsourcing. While the City Treasurer may recommend an investment policy, the lion share of the work is done by consultants. The role of the City Auditor is further diminished by simply hiring the same firm over and over again to perform the audit. The question is are either of these roles necessary? Should these roles be consolidated, eliminated, or maybe expanded to what people currently believe are the roles of the City Treasurer and Auditor. In past elections there has never been an opportunity to discuss this because both ran unopposed.