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our view: Assessor should remain an elected job

Measure A: L.A. County Assessor. No

Posted: October 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Measure A seeks to change the California Constitution and the Los Angeles County Charter to make the position of L.A. County assessor an appointed position instead of an elected position.

This measure is prompted by the scandal involving charges Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez granted tax breaks, via lowered appraisals, to people who gave money to his campaign.

Even if this measure is viewed as protection for the public, there’s no guarantee that an appointed official would behave any differently and in fact may be subject, instead, to pressures from a Board of Supervisors seeking to ramp up the money collected for county coffers.

In truth, this measure distracts us from the real issue — regardless of whether the assessor is elected or appointed. Noguez had been accused of influence peddling long before the matter came to light. What the issue really boils down to is a matter of proper oversight over the assessor and the assessor’s office.

Noguez may be a bad apple but asking people to give up their right to vote for a shiny one is not the answer. We say don’t mess with something unless we’re convinced the change is the best idea.

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