The ordinance that Kathy Long intends to lay before the Board of Supervisors this winter could potentially have some pretty bizarre results. Her proposal is to adopt certain educational and professional criteria for candidates running for county treasurer-tax collector--criteria that may potentially disqualify Audra Strickland's candidacy. The law places a disproportionate emphasis on education over experience.
Basically, it calls for the candidate to either be a CPA, be a chartered financial analyst, work at a public agency in a financial capacity, or possess a degree in accounting, public policy, or a related field.
Strickland worked the last five years as a member of the State Assembly, and holds a bachelor's degree in political science.
You would think that her experience in the legislature of the world's eighth largest economy makes her infinitely more qualified to serve in that capacity than say, me. I'm merely a humble blogger.
But, if Supervisor Long had her way, I would fulfill more of the arbitrary requirements than Strickland, because I have a master's degree in Public Administration.
The current treasurer-tax collector is Larry Matheney, who will retire next year. By all accounts--including Supervisor Long's--he's done a solid job managing the county's finances. But he would have to look all the way back to his community college days in 1964, when he took a few classes in accounting, to meet Long's qualifications.
"So those classes 40 years ago would have to be my ticket in," Matheney stated in an e-mail.
What's even more nonsensical is that Long's criteria wouldn't even prevent the Orange-County-like meltdown to which she refers, for the treasurer at the time would have qualified under her ordinance.
Let the voters decide out who is or isn't qualified, Supervisor Long.