Measure Q would effectively merge the offices of the Auditor-Controller and the Treasurer-Tax Collector into the singular office of the Director of Finance. The argument is that it would increase efficiency, allow for more cross-training of employees, and save money.
Measure R would make the new position an elected position – obviously moot if Q doesn’t pass.
The opposition argues that similar consolidations of office have worked better in larger more wealthy counties, and not so well in smaller.
It’s obviously not a partisan issue as it was placed on the ballot with a unanimous Board of Supervisor vote, although it should be noted that voting to place a measure on the ballot isn’t necessarily a personal endorsement. On the state level legislators routinely vote to place propositions on the ballot in the interest of public process.
I really don’t know whether it will improve or worsen the efficiency and function of the current offices. So I would rely on people who have run the office and/or worked for them. The opposition statement in the sample ballot was signed by current and former office holders. In the absence of personal knowledge, and I have no way of obtaining direct personal knowledge, I have to defer to those who have run the offices as to whether such a proposal would work best for the specific conditions of Humboldt County. Therefore, No on Q.
I also join with those same people in urging a yes vote on R. If we are going to create the new position of Director of Finance, it ought to be an elected position. Nobody submitted an opposition for the sample ballot. Seems like a no-brainer.