Lenoir City Charter Change
For the third time in six years, Lenoir
City officials are asking voters to eliminate an elected position and
give them control of the most important office in city government.
Included on the November ballot, for Lenoir City voters, will be the question of whether or not to make the position of Treasurer/Recorder a council appointed position or leave it as an elected position. Below is the question as it will appear on the ballot.
The office of Treasurer/Recorder is essentially the city government banker. All the money coming into the city and all money going out go through the Treasurer/Recorder office.
For years city officials have tried to take control of this office. The first time was 2008 when it was on the ballot Voters rejected to idea by an 80% margin. The second time, 2012, it was closer with the measure failing by a 54% margin. Apparently, city officials feel if they put the question on the ballot enough times they will wear the voters down and.
You really have to ask why the council and mayor want this position under their control so badly. The position is currently held by duly elected, Jimmy Wilburn, who by all accounts is doing a fine job in the position. So why so desperate to change?
Earlier this year, Lenoir City council voted to put the question to the voters whether to change the position from elected to appointed. Council members feel they could better choose the person who would fill the treasurer/recorder position. They argue that leaving the decision to the voters doesn't assure a qualified person would necessarily fill the position and that they, the council, are in a better position to pick a qualified person to fill the position.
It is a fact that six city councilmen could potentially, through interviews and qualification requirements, choose a highly qualified candidate to fill the important position. It is also a fact that six city councilmen could also install someone in the position that could then be manipulated or influenced by council since that person now works for council rather that the voters.
Lenoir City voters would be well cautioned against giving up an independently elected position/person in-lieu of a hand picked, appointed person as the Treasured/Recorder.