Elect or Appoint You May Decide

It appears that the Charter Review Committee is preparing to recommend to the Lenoir City council a major change to the Lenoir City charter. From the city's inception, the position of City Treasurer/Recorder has been an elected position. However that may be coming to an end after 100 years. Click Here To Read.

Apparently the Charter Review Committee is planning to recommend to the council that a charter change be placed on the February ballot that would ask the voters to change the City Treasurer/Recorder position to an appointed position rather than an elected position. It would then be up to the voters to decide how the position would be filled. If the charter change were voted in, it would then fall to the city council to fill the City Treasurer/Recorder position.

Democracy is by far the greatest form of government on earth but elections don't always guarantee that the most qualified will be elected. More often than not, elections are won on popularity and/or name reorganization and even sometimes by fraud. Most people tend to vote for those who they know regardless of qualifications. In this day and age just as in private business, some government positions demand a person with specific knowledge and technical capabilities.

The position of Treasurer/ Recorder is by far the most important position in city government As the chief financial officer of the city, the person who fills the position is tasked with the responsibilities of managing all of the city's money both revenues and expenditures and payrolls. The job demands that the person holding that office have some basic knowledge and understanding of financial management.

Over the last year or so there seems to be a consorted effort by some in city government to take control of the treasurers office. By changing the position from elected to appointed, that could be a giant step to in that direction. By placing the question on the ballot, it would leave the decision in the hands of the voters. Good bad or ugly, the outcome of an election should be considered the will of the majority. But it is extremely important that the voters are aware of all the facts before they make their decisions.

Changing the charter and the intent of the founders of the city is a big step. If council's real interest is to be sure that a qualified person is in the treasurer's office, it might be more logical to require certain qualifications for anyone wishing to run for the office. A degree in some kind of business education or a CPA or other qualifications that would assure that only qualified persons would be able to seek the office. If the position of treasurer becomes an appointment of the council, then that person will then be under the control and direction of the mayor and council and could potentially be forced to make decisions or take actions contrary to the best interest of the city to hold their job.

In the perfect world, one could have confidence in their elected officials and know that they would always be doing what is in the best interest of the citizens. Unfortunately, this isn't the perfect world. It's Lenoir City where many of our elected officials have proven time after time that they are driven more by self and special interest than by doing what's right for the citizens.

The position of Lenoir City Treasurer/Recorder is far too important to be no more than a hand picked stooge of a group of officials some of who have proven they will take advantage of their positions. Do we really want the chief financial officer of the city to be no more than another political appointee from the friends and family plan? The decision may be yours.