County supervisors adopted a process Tuesday to fill high-level elected posts and made it clear they don’t want the decision to be seen as politically motivated.

They intend to appoint a new public administrator, clerk-recorder and auditor-controller, jobs that several high-level political players have been seeking

“I think it’s very important that we do have a process so there isn’t the belief or perception that somehow people have already been chosen.  Because they certainly haven’t, as far as I’m concerned,” said Supervisor Pat Bates.  “We want to have an open and accountable and deliberative process as we go forward for these very important positions.”

Supervisors approved job descriptions for public administrator and public guardian and set a timetable for choosing the new officials.  A call for applications is set to be issued Wednesday with a filing deadline of Jan. 15. The appointment in expected in March.

The public administrator manages the estates of those who die without heirs. The clerk-recorder oversees land ownership documents and birth, marriage and death certificates, among other tasks.

The public administrator’s description details more than a dozen minimum qualifications, such as five years of experience handling estate administration and either an accounting certificate, law degree or conservator certification.

The clerk-recorder’s description, on the other hand, has just three qualifications: American citizenship, residence in Orange County and registration to vote.

A job description for the auditor-controller wasn’t included in the county staff report.

Supervisors also debated whether to combine the public administrator job with another position, such as the sheriff-coroner or treasurer-tax collector, but took no action.


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