Treasury Oversight?

Not long after moving to Inyo county in 1998, I saw a notice announcing an opening on the
Inyo County Treasury Oversight Committee. After meeting with then Treasurer John
Treacy, the Board of Supervisors approved my nomination as a committee member.
The Treasury Oversight Committee, as established by the Board of Supervisors,
provides a valuable service to the county and its citizens through its responsibility to review
and monitor the investment policy of the county. The investment policy is important
because establishes rules on how the countys funds may be invested by specifying the
types of investments that may be made and their terms. In addition, the Treasury
Oversight Committee reviews reports on the investments and causes an annual audit of the
treasury to be conducted. Without such a committee, there would be no direct oversight on
how the countys funds are being managed.

The committee normally meets once per year in a formal meeting but reviews investment
reports quarterly. At the meeting of September 2007, the new county treasurer, Alisha
McMurtrie (John Treacy had retired), suggested that the committee meet two times per
year. The committee adopted this recommendation and determined that the annual
meeting would be in august with an interim meeting in february. That was the last meeting I
attended as no meetings were called during 2008. The protocol was for the county
treasurer to call the meeting and then the committee would conduct its business including
review of investments and calling for the annual audit. Having become alarmed, I
telephoned the treasurer, Alisha McMurtrie, two times during february 2009 and neither call
was returned Subsequently, I resigned from the committee since I could not discharge my

Here is the problem in a nutshell. The public trust has been broken. The county treasurer
has on her own ended the very oversight that the Board of Supervisors has called for. It
cant be blamed on ignorance. The current treasurer was assistant county treasurer before
being elected treasurer and is very familiar with the committees operation.
There has been an ongoing investigation but the results may not become widespread
public knowledge in time for the election. I feel that the citizens of Inyo County should be
entitled to know what is or isnt going on within their county government and react
accordingly. It is too important to ignore. Please consider what you have learned here and
NOT return Alisha McMurtrie to office on June 8. We citizens deserve transparent
William Mitchel
Former Secretary, Inyo County Treasury Oversight Committee

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