The Lake Elsinore City Council last week unanimously voted to move forward with the appointment of a new city treasurer to fill the remainder of the term vacated by the passing of former City Treasurer Allen Baldwin.

“As you all know, we sadly lost our City Treasurer Alan Baldwin on Jan. 18, 2024, creating a vacancy on the seat for treasurer,” Candice Alvarez, city clerk, said at the Feb. 13 meeting. “State law provides that the city council has up to 60 days from the date the office became vacant to make that determination. However, the city’s municipal code currently requires a special election if the city council fails to make an appointment within 30 days.”

In order to give the council time to accept applications and make an informed appointment, the council adopted an urgency ordinance to give the city up to 60 days to fill the seat without having to call for a special election, which was estimated to cost about $130,000.

“I don’t think our city treasurer would be happy with a $130,500 fiscal impact,” Councilmember Natasha Johnson said.

In addition to the urgency ordinance, which went into effect immediately upon its passage, the council also approved a regular ordinance for the same reason. The regular ordinance will go into effect 30 days after the second reading and approval at a future council meeting.

The council also briefly discussed Baldwin’s desire to eliminate the position altogether, which City Attorney Barbara Leibold said could potentially be done ahead of the November election if the council wanted to move in that direction.

Stay up to date with the latest from The Record.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter today!

“Mr. Baldwin was a strong advocate of eliminating the elected position,” she said. “I talked with him at length about this throughout the years, and to share his opinion, you know that the city finances are in good hands and in appropriate hands with professional qualified staff — finance director, city manager, assistant city manager with municipal finance experience — and that the qualifications for an elected treasurer don’t include those kinds of criteria, that kind of resume.”

Leibold said that if the council wanted to have a larger discussion about the issue, she could work with the city clerk to present at a future meeting.

For the time being, the city will move forward with the appointment process. Applications for the position will be accepted through March 1 and will then be reviewed by the budget subcommittee which will make a recommendation to the council for possible appointment at the March 12 meeting. The appointment will serve through November of this year when the office is back up for election.

Those interested in applying for the position for the remainder of the term, which ends this November, must be registered voters residing in Lake Elsinore. The application can be found here on the city’s website.

A full recording of the meeting can be found here on the city’s website.

TN News is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet providing Riverside County with high-quality journalism free of charge. We’re able to do this because of the generous donations of supporters like you!

Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.