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Placer County auditor challenger claims county execs “out of touch, out of control”

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Citing the need to clamp down on spending by Placer County government officials, Roseville accountant Casey Tanner is challenging incumbent Kathy Martinis for the county auditor-controller post. “County executives are out of touch and out of control,” Tanner said. Martinis has served as county auditor-controller for the past nine years after being appointed by the Board of Supervisors. This will be her first contested election. “The primary responsibility of the auditor-controller is to maintain county fiscal integrity,” Martinis said. “There’s plenty of evidence to show we’ve been successful in doing that.” Tanner, a chartered public accountant, said he would institute a zero tolerance policy for abuse of county credit cards. “I will not sign a single reimbursement check over $1,000 without the Board of Supervisors publicly and explicitly voting to approve specific expenditures and my office will post the details of all county discretionary spending on our public Website,” Tanner said. Tanner cited a $10,000 charter flight to a meeting by vacationing Supervisor Rocky Rockholm and a $1,600 dinner hosted by the county in Washington, D.C. for former congressman John Doolittle as examples of spending he would attempt to rein in. Martinis, whose government experience also includes 14 years with Alameda County, recently oversaw an audit of the county Community Development Resources Agency that uncovered misuses of taxpayer dollars. She said a new audit is now examining the county’s vehicle use. Also planned is a follow-up with the resources agency to see if recommendations made in December are being followed, she said. With a deadline Tuesday for Jan. 1 to March 17 campaign financial disclosure statements to be turned in or postmarked, information was beginning to trickle into the elections division on Wednesday. Statements from Roseville Supervisor Rocky Rockholm and challenger Jack Duran had yet to be received. But Supervisor Robert Weygandt, who went unchallenged, handed his in and the statement shows that he was building up a larger war chest in the first 2½ months of the year. Weygandt’s campaign coffers jumped from $5,005 to $13,216 after raising $10,695. Some of the larger donations to Weygandt’s re-election fund included $500 from Jim Conkey of Roseville’s JR Properties, $2,500 from East Bay Tire Co. of Fairfield and $500 from Sacramento’s A. Teichert & Son.