Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Louis Hershman Should Replace Mary Ellen Koval
According to the City's Home Rule Charter, "If the office of the City Controller becomes vacant for any reason, Council shall appoint an interim City Controller, of the same political party, who shall serve until the next Municipal Election." Unlike other offices, Council is under no obligation to act within 30 days. There also is no provision for seeking judicial relief if Council fails to act. So despite the use of the mandatory word "shall," the provision is actually precatory. Council may appoint a Controller, if it so chooses. But there is no remedy should it fail to act.
Must the office be filled by a Democrat? I say No. Though Mary Ellen Koval is certainly a Democrat, she resigned from an office she never held. She never took the oath and assumed office So I would argue there has been a vacancy since January 1, 2016, and since no one has held the office, it could be given to a person from any political party.
Should Steve Ramos get the job because he came in second? I've seen defeated candidates appointed to Council vacancies on the strength of the argument that they cared enough to run for the job. But I've seen more bounced on the argument that a majority of the voters has already rejected them.
The best candidate for this job is the person who held it for 24 years. He's someone who would have blown the whistle from the inside because he's certainly been raising red flags as a private citizen.
This person is Louis Hershman, whom you can see at just about every Council meeting.
He's not a former secretary to the mayor, but is an actual accountant whose practice includes thousands of local residents.
Though Hershman is nominally a Republican, I'd argue he should change parties if that makes him more acceptable to Council. That's his call, but I honestly think these offices should all be nonpartisan.