Selection of treasurer needs to be very open

By The Curry Coastal Pilot August 23, 2011 08:58 pm

 

In her resignation and their reaction, the back-and-forth between Curry County Treasurer Izzy Brock and the Curry County Board of Commissioners continued last week. Between her allegations and their “no comment” reactions, their cutbacks in her staff and her private lock on the public’s courthouse door, it’s pretty easy to assume that this conflict might end up in litigation.

The standoff was so bad that tax payments to local governments were delayed this summer with Brock was out on sick leave and the commissioners not realizing that checks had not been processed.

What both sides seem to agree upon is that Debbie Crumley, who has been the deputy treasurer when she wasn’t laid off by budget cuts, is a capable replacement for the job.

We have no reason to question that assessment or to object to that selection, except that the county treasurer is an elected official. While state laws might allow the board of commissioners to make a selection to fill the remainder of the four-year term, the board needs to move cautiously and openly in making the appointment. While county treasurer might not be the most influential or exciting of positions, it remains important enough to be up to the voters every four years.

On behalf of the voters, and because there has been controversy and conflict with the commissioners for so many months, the commissioners should create an open call for applications with a reasonable timeline and opportunity for applications, a clear process for reviewing them, and a public discussion by the commissioners of both the process and the selection.

From the statements last week, it may well end up with Crumley as the selection. But the process needs to reflect the importance given the position as an elective office.