City of Compton residents have rejected long-time City Treasurer Doug Sanders and will seek to replace him on June 1 during the city’s General Election. The top two candidates have strong professional backgrounds, while one candidate is dodging questions surrounding his personal financial shortcomings.
Compton Unified Board Trustee Satra Zurita has served the city’s students for sixteen years, and is seeking the treasurer’s seat campaigning on transparency and points to the Compton Unified School District finances as proof she understands fiscal policy, and the importance of timely reporting to the public and governmental entities.
“I have a proven track record of ensuring transparency in the school district’s finances, and want to bring my expertise to the city,” said Zurita. “The district has a balanced budget every year, and are always in compliance in regulatory reporting.”
She points to the district’s website, which details all financial reporting, along with the board’s implementing new policies and procedures which resulted in increased revenue for the district’s students.
“We upgraded our attendance software, which netted us additional funds for our students,” said Zurita.
Zurita proudly served city residents, working for the city of Compton, until her retirement early this year.
“As a Senior Analyst I was responsible for a wide range of duties, which included developing and monitoring departmental budgets,” said Zurita. “I am qualified for the position and believe the residents know based on my more than 28 years of service to the Compton Community, beginning with Meals on Wheels.”
The city of Compton has received scathing reports of employee’s embezzling taxpayer funds, late reporting to the state of California and misuse of taxpayer funds, earmarked for street repairs, and a state audit revealing that the city controller’s office failed to properly account for reimbursements on the city’s credit cards.
Brandon Mims, served as the city’s interim deputy controller, and was unable to increase transparency in the department, during his time in City Hall.
“I’ve worked in the city for seven years,” says Mims. “Accuracy, accountability and responsiveness are important to me.”
“It’s critical to account for funds coming into the city so we don’t find ourselves in a $113 million deficit,” said Mims.
Mims has also acknowledged he is under a “gag order” and unable to publicly discuss why he his no longer employed with the Water Replenishment District.
Mayor Aja Brown has rejected the community’s assertions that the city is facing a $113 million debt, that was accumulated during Mims’ time serving in the controller’s office. Mims was also employed when a city employee embezzled close to $4 million from the treasurer’s office.
Debt accrues when the city is spending more than they are taking in and with the constant turnover in the controller’s office, no one was ringing the alarm on the city’s overspending.
Mims’ position on “accuracy and accountability” is questionable.
Court records show he has filed for bankruptcy, and is currently in arrears for his child support.
“The most critical part of being a publicly elected City Treasurer is being accountable to the residents that voted you in,” said Mims.
Mims has refused to be accountable to voters by declining all interview requests related to clarifying how he will ensure the city’s funds aren’t handled in the same manner he handles his personal finances.
Voters have until June 1 to cast their ballot for city treasurer.