El Dorado County supervisors to consider eliminating some elected positions | TahoeDailyTribune.com

El Dorado County supervisors to consider eliminating some elected positions

Noel Stack
The Mountain Democrat

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will once again take up the topic of eliminating specific department heads from the list of those required to be elected in this county.

By law, only the sheriff, district attorney and assessor must be elected. At its Tuesday meeting, the board will discuss whether to place measures on the ballot making the auditor-controller, recorder-clerk, surveyor and treasurer-tax collector appointed positions.

The discussion is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors chambers at 330 Fair Lane, Placerville.

Section 402 of the El Dorado County Charter currently reads: “The following department heads shall be elected:

a. Assessor

b. Auditor/Controller

c. District Attorney

d. Recorder/Clerk

e. Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administrator

f. Surveyor

g. Treasurer/Tax Collector

The term of office of all elected officers is four years. The elected officers shall serve until their successors are qualified unless sooner removed as provided by this charter.”

The issue, which has been discussed at length by prior boards and committees, was most recently included in the 2017-18 Charter Review Committee recommendations.

Arguments have gone back and forth over the years with one side supporting the effort to limit the number of elected department heads (making them answer to supervisors and the chief administrative officer) and others arguing that the charter change is not in the best interest of voters.

Former El Dorado County District 3 Supervisor Jack Sweeney told the Mountain Democrat he would oppose any ballot measure that sought to eliminate elected positions.

“We live in the United States of America,” Sweeney said, “and we want to hear the voice of the people, not the voices of dictators. It’s the right of the voters to pick these department heads.”

Staff has made no recommendation as to which path is best. Tuesday’s agenda asks the board to discuss options and give direction to staff.