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Tuesday March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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City of Torrance
Measure J - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


13,691 votes yes (37.35%)

22,965 votes no (62.65%)

Shall the City Charter be amended to make the office of City Treasurer appointive?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Patrick Q. Sullivan, City Attorney

Measure J was placed on the ballot by the City Council. This Measure, if approved by the Torrance voters, would amend the City Charter to transition from an elected City Treasurer to an appointed City Treasurer.

California law allows the City Treasurer to be elected or appointed. A number of cities in California, however, have voted to transform the post into an appointive position to ensure that the persons discharging the duties of the office have the professional skills and experience necessary to competently and responsibly discharge the duties of the position. Approximately 66% of California's 483 cities appoint their City Treasurer. Torrance has historically had an elected City Treasurer who serves a four-year term. The current City Treasurer was elected in June 2018 and the term will in end in March 2022 or as soon thereafter as the election can be certified. The current City Charter requires that the City Treasurer must be: (1) a resident of the City, (2) registered to vote in the City, and (3) at least 18 years old. There are no minimum educational requirements, professional qualifications, or minimum City Treasurer experience.

The City Treasurer manages the investment of City funds, prepares the monthly investment report, files the monthly investment report with the City Council, and prepares the annual investment policy.

If this Measure is approved, the City Treasurer will become an appointive position at the end of the current term. The Measure provides that the City Treasurer will be appointed by the City Manager. The City Council may establish minimum educational requirements, professional qualifications, or minimum City Treasurer experience for the City Treasurer. An appointed City Treasurer need not be a City resident.

A YES vote on Measure J is to make the City Treasurer an appointive office upon expiration of the term of the current elected City Treasurer. A NO vote Measure J is to retain an elected City Treasurer. A majority vote is required for the Measure to pass.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR


Arguments AGAINST


Voting for Measure J takes away your choice and gives it to one person—an unelected City Manager. Even the City Council will have no say in who is the City Treasurer. You will have given tremendous power to a city bureaucrat that you cannot remove from office.


In 1992, this same issue was on that ballot. Then, it was an issue with a City Clerk not doing the job but still getting paid rather than the City Treasurer.

Torrance voters rejected that measure by more than 2 to 1. Torrance is a large city. We can find a capable City Treasurer, from among 150,000+ residents. A full-time City Treasurer should be a Torrance resident! If qualified candidates are willing to move to Torrance, they are eligible too.

We are not opposed to at some future point, a Charter amendment requiring reasonable education, qualifications and skills for anyone running for City Treasurer.


Passing Measure J will not replace the City Treasurer. Our City Treasurer hasn't been to work in over a year. She's still getting paid $65,000 a year—plus a car allowance of $450 per month and other benefits paid with your taxes.

This can go on until July 2022— the remainder of her term. There's nothing the City Council can do about it because she's an elected official. Measure J will not replace her. Even if Measure J passes, it will not take effect until her term ends.


Please Vote No on Measure J. Help us keep our elected City Treasurer. Don't give up future choice for the sins of the City Treasurer. Help us recall our City Treasurer and elect someone who will do the job.


Please vote NO on Measure J.

Small Businessman

Systems Engineer

Economic Development Professional

Chief Financial Officer, California Taxpayers Action Network

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