Planned obsolescence: one man shrinks government.
If it seems that Hamilton doesn't really want the treasurer job, it's probably because he doesn't. Hamilton is running for treasurer on a very simple platform: "If elected, I'll start the process to eliminate the election of the office on my very first day," he says. "And I won't take any pay." Indeed, he promises to push an amendment to the Texas Constitution eliminating the position entirely.
According to Hamilton, the office costs Kerr County (population: 47,000) $122,000 a year, including the treasurer's $45,000 salary. That's not exactly a princely sum. But 245 of Texas's 354 counties have elected treasurers, and if the positions were eliminated statewide it would save Texas about $15 million a year.
"For 25 years I've been asking why we in Kerr County elect a treasurer, when we don't elect municipal, state, or federal treasurers," says Hamilton. Besides, he grumbles, the office duplicates tasks currently performed by the county auditor, has no power to make policy decisions, and cannot allocate funds. "It's hugely inefficient," he says.
So what does he make of his chances? "I did an informal poll, and 73 of 100 people backed me, and 10 were undecided," he says. But once those undecided voters understand the absurdity of the office, he argues, they'll vote for Ed Hamilton, with the express purpose of firing Ed Hamilton.
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|Title Annotation:||Ed Hamilton's political candidacy for Kerr County's treasurer post|
|Author:||Moynihan, Michael C.|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||May 1, 2008|
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