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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

City of Atascadero
Measure G-16 Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


6,315 votes yes (48.25%)

6,772 votes no (51.75%)

100% of precincts reporting (16/16).

15,139 ballots counted.

Shall the office of City Treasurer be appointive?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A simple majority of YES votes would approve the measure, making the City Treasurer an appointive office.

NO vote means

A majority of NO votes would reject the measure, in which case the City Treasurer will continue to be an elective office.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

BRIAN A. PIERIK City Attorney, City of Atascadero

State law requires each California city to have a City Treasurer.  City Treasurers may be either elected or appointed.  This measure places before the voters the question whether the City Treasurer should be an appointed rather than an elected position. 

In Atascadero, the City Treasurer is currently elected and serves a four-year term.  State law also establishes the qualifications for a City Treasurer, requiring that the person elected to this position must be a registered voter and resident of the City.  There are no requirements that candidates for this office have any specific education, certification, or experience.

State law provides that City Treasurers are responsible for overseeing municipal finances.  They must comply with state laws governing the deposit and handling of public funds and provide written accountings of all municipal funds.  The day-to-day duties associated with the office of City Treasurer for the City of Atascadero, however, are handled by the Director of Administrative Services. 

State law authorizes the City Council to place on the ballot the question whether the position of City Treasurer should be made appointive.  If a majority of the voters approve making the position appointive, the City Council will have the authority to appoint a person to this position upon the expiration of the current term of office, or earlier if there is a vacancy.  The City Council could establish qualifications such as education, certification and experience, and could appoint the person determined to be best qualified, regardless of that person's place of voter registration or residence.  This measure would not change the duties of the City Treasurer as established pursuant to state law.

A simple majority of YES votes would approve the measure, making the City Treasurer an appointive office.

A majority of NO votes would reject the measure, in which case the City Treasurer will continue to be an elective office.



Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Your “YES” vote on Measure G-16 will convert the City Treasurer position from elected to appointed (hired) and is placed before the voters to ensure the City’s financial resources continue into the future to be managed effectively by qualified individuals. 

The City Treasurer is responsible for investing and safekeeping City funds.  Therefore, the position requires a person who possesses technical experience and knowledge of public investments.  As a result, 66% of California cities appoint their city treasurers.

The current Atascadero City Treasurer has many years of experience in managing public funds.  However, the only legal qualification to serve as elected city treasurer is to be a registered City voter.  Individuals elected in the future could cause serious financial problems if an unqualified individual was elected to perform the City Treasurer’s responsibilities.  The San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury released a report in 2010 addressing the question if City Clerks and Treasurers should be elected or appointed.  Their report stated the following:

“There are reasons to be especially concerned about the practice of electing city treasurers.  Any citizen who is a resident of the city can run for the office, without possessing any particular qualifications.  If a candidate with an agenda markedly at odds with the city council and the city manager – one with little commitment to processional investing, for example – were to win, many millions of city dollars could be at risk or, alternatively, tied up in a dispute over power.”

The report concluded that the City of Atascadero should consider asking the electorate to make the position of City Treasurer appointive.

The Atascadero City Treasurer and City Clerk urge you to vote “YES” on Measure G-16.

s/ Gere Sibbach
City Treasurer

s/ Marcia McClure Torgerson
City Clerk




Arguments AGAINST


Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

Shall the office of City Treasurer be appointive?

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