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Council abolishes city treasurer position

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — The city of Susanville no longer has a treasurer. The city council passed an ordinance eliminating the position by a 3-2 vote at its Wednesday, March 5 meeting.

Mayor Rod De Boer and councilmembers Cheryl McDonald and Lino Callegari vote to approve the ordinance after waiving its second reading, while councilmembers Brian Wilson and Nicholas McBride voted no.

City Treasurer Richard Stovall, whose position, according to the ordinance, will be abolished June 30, 2014 or at the end of the current term, whichever is sooner, said should the council approve the ordinance, he would present the matter to the grand jury for an investigation. He added the city had already missed the deadline to have the position appear on the June Primary Election ballot.

Stovall said according to the election code the position can only be abolished by a vote of the people.

But Peter Talia, city attorney, said the position is no longer needed because the responsibilities have been transferred to the professional staff in the city’s finance division.

He said Stovall’s position would be correct if the city attempted to change the position from an elected one to one that was appointed, but that’s not the action the city is taking.

According to the staff report, the city treasurer’s sole remaining duty is that of an inventory clerk.

“The city treasurer no long serves a critical role for the city,” according to the staff report. It cites government code section 51506 as the council’s authority to abolish the position.

Eliminating the position will save the city $275 per month and the election costs.

Todd Eid, the manager of a local supermarket, said keeping track of inventory is very important in his industry because of the checks and balances it provides. He asked if those checks and balances would remain in place if the council eliminated the city treasurer position.

City administrator Jared Hancock said this wouldn’t be a problem because the city had “internal controls in place.”

Talia assured the council it was “on solid ground.”

Other business

In closed session the council discussed significant exposure to litigation regarding six potential claims.

Hancock said the council gave direction to staff but took no reportable action.

The council unanimously approved its consent agenda that included approval of warrants for a total of $374,344.26, including $97,004.52 in payroll; approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a loan agreement for the Phantom Jet F-4C on display at the Susanville Municipal Airport for the 2014 year; approved a resolution authorizing the annual certification of the UH-1 Huey Helicopter and AH-1 Cobra Helicopter at the Susanville Municipal Airport; approved a resolution authorizing the annual certification of the GPF M1917/18 Series Gun at Memorial Park; and approved a resolution updating the City Council committee list.

The council also approved a motion to waive the fees for the 25th annual Fishing Derby at Memorial Park, to make a donation to the Susanville Sportsman Club to help pay for the fish planted in the Susan River and to cosponsor the event.

The council also adopted a mid-year budget revision that showed $434,000 in surplus funds in the general fund budget due to one-time monies. Without these revenues, the city budget would face a $100,000 deficit.

City staff recommended transferring an additional $20,000 to the Susanville Enforcement Team due to the recent increase in crime; funding several community facilities improvements (skate park at Memorial Park, design acquisition and construction of a neighborhood park in the Skyline area, cleanup of the Sierra Park site, sidewalk projects and street rehabilitation); and debt reduction payoffs for the golf course, City Hall and the PERS Side Fund.

            According to the mid-year budget, the city’s adopted budget revenues are expected to be $16.2 million, expenses are $16.3 million for a deficit of $61,166. The city had an audited fund balance of $14 million on June 30, 2013 and a projected fund balance on June 30, 2014 of $14 million.

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