Compton Herald’s endorsements, June 6 election
An individual’s ability and willingness to perform the job is all that matters.
Courtesy Flickr/League of Women Voters
Who should triumph in these races and serve the City of Compton for the next four years?
COMPTON — The races for mayor, city treasurer, and city council district 3 have now come down to a finale at the ballot box on June 6.
The voters have the final say, but herewith are the endorsements by the Compton Herald, and why.
For mayor, the prudent choice goes to incumbent Mayor Aja Brown. An endless war has ensued over the course of four years regarding the mayor’s fitness for leadership based on cries of political malfeasance. But in that time not one charge has been found to be true — nothing corroborative, no charges filed, no indictments made.
For that reason and the fact that the voter turnout in the primary election was embarrassingly abysmal, suggests that most Compton residents — at least 47 percent favor the job the mayor is doing or suffer from abject apathy. Still, that leaves Brown’s detractors, whose total numbers contributed to a paltry 15 percent in the voter turnout at the polls. Where were they? One assumed there would be an unprecedented voter swell on April 18.
There simply wasn’t.
Compton is on the cusp of change, whether you like Mayor Brown or not, whether you approve of her governing style, or not. There appears to be “personal angst,” clouding the judgment of a minority few, which should have no place in city governance. An individual’s ability and willingness to perform the job is all that matters.
We don’t believe a change in leadership is warranted. We believe Mayor Brown will carry through with her promises to move the city forward after June 6. If she gains more platitudes, admiration, and media attention for making good on it — God bless her.
For city treasurer, the Herald will remain neutral. Incumbent City Treasurer Douglas Sanders went to sleep at the helm after six terms in office should be relieved of duty after the gargantuan theft on his watch of 3.7 million by a member of his staff. In any other municipality, Sanders would have been fired for such negligence.
On the other hand, Sanders’ opponent, businessman Jasper Jackson, is simply ill-suited for the job, which, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city treasurer manages the investments of the city using standard government accounting procedures. City treasurers are responsible for working with the budget committee to prepare the city’s annual budget. Throughout the year, the treasurer supervises expenditures and receipts and keeps the city on budget. The city treasurer record accounts payable and receivable in a timely manner and prepares the payroll for the city. He/she works with auditors to certify tax assessments and levies. The city treasurer also collects building permit fees and other special fees assessed by the city for services, such as water and sewer.
Municipalities often require their city treasurer to hold a master’s degree in accounting, business, investments or finance, although some cities hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Several years of experience is often a prerequisite for the job. The treasurer must have a clean record and be bondable. That means he must qualify to be covered by a bonding company, a kind of insurance to cover against any losses or errors.
We reached out to Jackson for his qualifications for the office. He submitted the following: “Thanks for asking — 31 years of accounting, management, collection of debts, and preparing first and final accounting for the Los Angeles Superior Court.”
Jackson also said he has worked 32 years as a paralegal.
The Herald requested a curriculum vitae to substantiate Jackson’s experience at the L.A. Superior Court, but at press time we have yet to receive such documentation.
The position of Compton city treasurer presents a quandary. Sanders has eroded the city trust that he can safeguard the city’s finances, and Jackson appears wholly unqualified and therefore would be on a steep learning curve. Compton can ill-afford a novice at the helm.
City Council District 3
For city council district 3, our endorsement goes to Tomas Carlos. A native son, Carlos has articulated he knows the problems and issues of the city and has voiced and written solid solutions for improvement. We also like his positive passion, whereas his opponent, incumbent Tana McCoy has shown little evidence she even wants the job, never once presenting once iota of her campaign platform to the Herald.
After all, she was appointed to the position after long-time councilperson Yvette Arceneaux abruptly resigned. She did not earn the privilege to lead the third district and seems uninspired to pick up the mantle.
The Herald believes Carlos, a resident of Richland Farms, and a graduate of Compton High School possesses the education, wisdom, business acumen, sincerity, and endurance to work hard for Compton, minus the taint of nepotism and cronyism that has plagued the city far too long.