Oceanside Considers Tougher Qualifications for City Treasurer-Elect
Oceanside City Council on Wednesday asked city staff to develop education and work experience requirements for the position of city treasurer, which the council will consider at a future meeting.
As things stand, Oceanside has no additional requirements to run for City Treasurer beyond those set by the California Elections Code, i.e. 18 or older, registered to vote, Oceanside resident, etc.
Carlsbad, which also elects its treasurer, requires applicants to have a four-year college degree in finance or a business-related field and four years of work experience in finance.
The discussion comes amid an internal investigation into several allegations made against City Treasurer-elect Victor Roy last month by Treasury Director Steve Hodges.
The allegations first surfaced in an email Hodges sent to Roy and other city officials in June, accusing Roy of several things, including making investment decisions that resulted in loss money to the city, illegally asking Hodges to donate to his 2020 campaign, viewing and uploading nudity to an audience. library computer and more.
Hodges has since “chosen to resign, but not until the end of the year,” Deputy City Manager Michael Gossman said by email. “We are recruiting now to ensure a smooth transition.”
Council members Ryan Keim and Christopher Rodriguez presented the idea of stricter requirements at Wednesday’s meeting.
Not everyone agrees that the position requires additional requirements.
Mayor Esther Sanchez said city council members don’t have to meet any additional requirements to run for city council and it should be up to voters to decide what qualifications or background they prefer in a candidate .
She also argued that the discussion should have waited until the investigation was completed and called the decision a “character assassination”.
Keim said he asked Roy to come to the board meeting and address concerns about his experience, but he didn’t.
Roy was elected to the seat for a partial term in 2018 and was re-elected in 2020. His lack of financial experience was a point of contention among many Oceanside residents when he was first elected in 2018. Roy has a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles and had a 27-year career in aviation with Continental Airlines and later United Airlines, retiring as director of services.
His campaign website says he has “extensive knowledge of finance, CDs, bonds and other types of investments in the city.”
At the time, some residents asked city officials to require professional financial experience for the job, but the city never did.
The city treasurer is responsible for overseeing the management of the city’s $450 million investment fund. It is an elected position in Oceanside, but in most towns in the county, such as the city of San Diego, the city treasurer is appointed.
“He’s a watchdog — the city treasurer doesn’t actually invest money, but it’s hard to be a watchdog if you don’t understand what you’re looking at,” Keim said.
The next council meeting will be on August 24.