Cardenas assumes county auditor’s responsibilities

Nancy Cardenas. File photo

The Lassen County Board of Supervisors appointed Nancy Cardenas, Lassen County’s Treasurer/Tax Collector, to assume the additional role of Lassen County Auditor at its Tuesday, April 11 meeting.

No candidate ran for the seat in the November election, and while Cardenas agreed to accept the additional responsibilities, she cheerfully reminded the board of her intention to retire from county service at the end of her current term of office.

County Administrative Officer Richard Egan called the decision “a very significant action I’m recommending” be taken by the board of supervisors.

Egan said the auditor’s position currently remains unfilled because no one ran for the seat in the last election. The supervisors sought to recruit someone to appoint to fill the vacant seat earlier this year, but that effort proved unsuccessful. He said Cardenas has the experience and qualifications to jointly hold both offices, and she has agreed to step up and do so.

But Egan said this was a short-term solution for the duration of Cardenas’ term of office (almost four years), and he also recommended Lassen County voters have an opportunity in the March 2024 election to approve the permanent consolidation of the Treasurer/Tax Collector/Auditor positions into the Lassen County Director of Finance. In addition, he suggested the voters should also decide if that new position would be elected by the voters or appointed by the board of supervisors.

Cardenas noted when the possible consolidation of these positions has been discussed in the past, there were always two incumbents in office — one of who would have to lose their job. She said this was the perfect time to make this decision, because that issue does not exist now.

“If you have a Director of Finance, you’re opening it up to whoever is qualified to run.” Cardenas said. “If the county is ever going to make this change, it’s probably the easiest time.”

Cardenas said she would reorganize the personnel both offices to more efficiently accommodate the current workload, and she didn’t see any conflict between the offices.

Cardenas’ salary would rise from $146,000 per year to $169,000 per year, and she said the salary of some of the assistants in the two offices would also need to rise as they assumed additional responsibilities.

On a roll-call vote, the board unanimously approved Cardenas assuming the additional responsibility as auditor.