Voter’s Edge California
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Presentado por
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 6, 2018 — Elección General de California

City of Belmont
Measure WW - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales


5,588 votos si (51.63%)

5,235 votos no (48.37%)

Shall the office of City Treasurer be appointive?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

Scott Rennie, Belmont City Attorney

Measure WW asks Belmont voters the question whether the office of city treasurer should be made appointive rather than elective. A "yes" vote would make the city treasurer appointive.  A "no" vote would keep the city treasurer elective. The city council placed the measure on the ballot by unanimously adopting Resolution 2017-091. If approved by a majority vote, this measure would make the office of city treasurer appointive after the November 5, 2019, election, or upon a vacancy in the office occuring before the election.

Office of the City Treasurer

For general law cities like Belmont, state law vests responsibility for receiving, depositing, paying, and accounting for city funds in the office of city treasurer. The office may be elective or appointive.  Just over 30% of California cities have an elected city treasurer. As the office of treasurer responsibilities have become more specialized, they have increasingly been handled by professional staff with the required expertise.

In Belmont, the city treasurer is currently elected to a four-year term of office, is considered a part-time position, and has a stipend of $390 a month with health and pension benefits comparable to non-elected city employees.

Qualifications of the City Treasurer

California law has two eligibility requirements for an elected city treasurer: (1) the individual must be at least eighteen years of age and (2) a registered city voter.

If made appointive, the city council can establish education and experience qualifications for an appoint city treasurer, whose duties may be performed by existing city staff. The city manager would be responsible to appoint and supervise staff to carry out office of treasurer duties.

Performance of City Treasurer Duties

In Belmont, essentially all daily office of treasurer functions are routinely performed by finance department staff. These functions include managing the city's $67 million portfolio in accordance with law; receiving and safely keeping all money received; utilizing a system of accounting and auditing that adheres to generally accepted accounting principles; complying with all laws governing the deposit and securing of public funds and the handling of trust funds; ensuring that money is paid out only on warrants signed by legally designated persons; preparing a monthly report and accounting of all receipts, disbursements, and fund balances; collecting city taxes and license fees as prescribed by city ordinance; and preparing and annually updating the City's investment policy. Certain periodic tasks are performed by the city treasurer office holder, including reviewing and signing daily cash reports, authorizing local agency investment fund (LAIF) transactions when the finance director is unavailable, participating in debt issuance, and serving as chair of the city council's audit committee. 

If the measure is approved, the city would save the cost of holding an election every four years for the position. The city may save additional costs up to approximately $34,000 per year if the duties of the office are fully consolidated with existing staff positions.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

Vote "YES" on Measure WW to ensure Belmont has the most qualified professional to safeguard our City's public investments, save taxpayer money, and ensure public accountability.

Measure WW will make the City Treasurer an appointed position, saving taxpayer money on elections and ensuring the most qualified persons are eligible to hold the position.

Belmont is fortunate that its current City Treasurer has excellent experience and professionally managed the City's financial portfolio. We need to ensure we have such expertise in the future.

Currently, the City holds an election for the City Treasurer, every four years, spending taxpayer funds on an elected position that only requires a candidate to be 18 years of age and a registered voter. Most cities have already transitioned from having the Treasurer an elected to an appointed position to ensure that a qualified person holds this office.

Measure WW will require the City Treasurer be selected subject to the same evaluation and hiring practices as other City employees that ensures we will have a qualified financial professional with the right skills and experience to manage the public's investments.

Belmont's budget and finances are becoming more complex than in previous years, requiring that we have a qualified financial professional.

Vote "YES" on Measure WW to ensure we have a City Treasurer in the future who has proper experience, oversight, and accountability for the City's finances.

Vote "YES" on Measure WW to have Belmont join the vast majority of California cities that recognize an experienced professional needs to be hired based on experience and qualifications.

The Belmont City Council unanimously supports Measure WW.

Vote "YES" on Measure WW.

/s/ Thomas McCune, Belmont Planning Commissioner

/s/ Paige Perez, Community Leader

/s/ Robert Ledoux, Former Belmont Finance Commissioner

/s/ Douglas Kim, Mayor, City of Belmont

/s/ Davina Hurt, Vice Mayor, City of Belmont 

Argumento EN CONTRA

Do not vote to give up your vote! Currently, you have the right to elect the Belmont Treasurer.  Keep it!

The Treasurer safeguards the City funds --- that is YOUR money!  Do you want the people who spend the money to pick the Treasurer who guards it? We know everybody in Belmont is honest. But do you get to make your own change at the grocery store? Are banks left unlocked at night in Belmont?

If you do not feel qualified to choose a good Treasurer, you can just ask the City Council members to recommend someone.  If you feel it is just your neighbor who is not qualified to choose a good Treasurer, well, remember that your neighbor gets to vote on this and on a whole more, too.

Of course, an extra line on the ballot once in a while, does cost a little money. But democracy is not cheap; it is just better.

Keep your right to vote for Belmont Treasurer.

Vote No on Measure WW.


/s/ Harland Harrison, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

/s/ Christ Yonts, Belmont Voter 

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

So we voters are not qualified to elect the Belmont City Treasurer? Why not?  We choose the City Council, don't we?  Maybe Belmont should just have an emperor to appoint everybody and avoidd all those bothersome elections.

The voters have re-elected the same Treasurer and Clerk for nearly 15 years. Are they not qualified? The current system is working.  Why change it?

Minor officials are part of the checks and balances of democracy. Somebody has to watch the people with the mostp ower and be sure they answer to the voters.

Don't give up your right to vote for Belmont Treasurer.

Vote NO on Measure WW.


/s/ Andrea Campton, Belmont Voter

/s/ Chris Yonts, Belmont Voter

/s/ Jon Freeman, Belmont Voter

/s/ Harland Harrison, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County


Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

Vote "YES" on Measure WW to make Belmont's City Treasurer position an appointed position based on professional merit, not politics.

Vote "YES" on Measure WW to ensure the City Treasurer position is appointed by the City Manager based on qualifications and experience. According to Belmont City Code Section 2-28, only the City Manager could make such an appointment in the future. With an appointment, there is greater accountability should the Treasurer not fulfill its duties.

We all agree the City Treasurer position helps protect the public's money, managing the City's $67 million portfolio. Current law only requires this person be at least 18 years of age and a registered voter in the City.

That's not enough to protect Belmont's need for a qualified professional to serve as City Treasurer.

Belmont has great potential for economic growth. The ability to appoint a highly qualified professional and manage his or her performance is critical.

Vote "YES" on Measure WW to join the almost 70 percent of cities in California that appoint their City Treasurers.

This is more than dollars and cents. It's the peace of mind that we have an expert in place in the future with the requisite skill and credentials to safeguard our money.

Join your City Council and neighbors in support of Measure WW. 


/s/ Douglas Kim, Mayor

/s/ Paige Perez, Community Leader

/s/ Thomas McCune, Planning Commissioner

/s/ Davina Hurt, Vice Mayor

/s/ Robert Ledoux, Former Belmont Finance Commissioner

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