A native Californian, I have lived and worked in California all my life. I am the oldest of seven siblings and spent my early years in San Francisco. My parents raised me with the sense that integrity and character matters. They also taught me strong work ethics. In 1964 my family moved from San Francisco to Southern California, where we grew up and became productive members of the community. I love California, and I want to help make it a better place for us all.
United States Army
Shortly after graduating from high school, I enlisted in the United States Army because I felt it was my duty to serve during the Vietnam War. I graduated from Fort Ord's Army Combat Training in 1972. Subsequently, I was trained in operating base construction by US Army Special Forces. Stationed in Frankfurt, West Germany, I served with HHQ Engineer Command and was honorably discharged from active duty in 1974. As many of you know, the early 1970s were challenging years for those of us in the military. I am proud to have served my nation.
After serving in the US Army, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s degree in management from the University of Redlands. My post-graduate training includes organizational leadership, innovative governance, public policy analysis, and strategic management with a focus towards large scale governmental operations. I received this education at UC Berkeley and at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, I am a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and bring 24 years of private sector business experience to the position.
Record-breaking win in 2010 Auditor-Controller election
Receiving the most votes cast for a candidate in the County’s 120 year history was an amazing show of support for my vision of change. The overwhelming support I received indicates the people voted for me because they saw a leader who would fight for them--and they acted with their vote. It is my goal to provide the leadership necessary to make this office reflective of the modern community it serves. Substantially outspent, I won every city and legislative district in Riverside County-- a remarkable achievement for a non-politician in my opinion.
Upon taking office on January 3, 2010, I hit the ground running on day one given the numerous operational issues that needed to be addressed. On that first day I found an empty office, empty file cabinets, no operations plan, and a savaged budget. The inherent risk factor was at an all time high. It was evident I would have to move fast using all my skills to build a team capable of providing effective oversight over the County's nearly $5 billion operational budget. With the help of a great team we successfully met that initial challenge.
Despite a slashed budget, skillful and deliberate management allowed my office to return $750,000, and $850,000 at the end of my first and second fiscal years, respectively, to the general fund. Under my leadership, we wrote a strategic plan to drive operational performance; introduced a collaborative leadership style to harness the intellectual firepower of the office; and, expanded communication channels with our stakeholders.
Working with the Executive Office, we successfully restored budget dollars to expand operations in the internal audits division--a mission critical function of the office. We've rebuilt the internal audits division with highly qualified auditors; retooled the waste, fraud and abuse program for effectiveness; and, we've made ethics training a requirement for all professional staff. We've stepped up internal audits big time.
We will continue working to ensure that the Riverside County Auditor-Controller's Office is at the cutting-edge of governmental fiscal operations.
Major initiatives for the next three years
1) Strengthen fiscal oversight capabilities
2) Complete and deploy the new $100 million Integrated Property Tax System
3) Implement strategic-management system to drive organizational performance
4) Develop cost-cutting paperless office through more effective use of high tech
Lifelong Dedication to the Community
Serving the community has always been important to me. Over the years I have collaborated with many prominent local, state, and federal government leaders. In 1978, for example, I had the distinct privilege of being mentored by Ronald Reagan's lead team of advisers. I've always believed that it is absolutely essential for public leaders to walk-the-talk, and to have a strong sense of ethics and integrity because these values are at the core of effective public leadership. I aim to represent the people of Riverside County with the honor it deserves.
I am a member of the California Board of Accountants, American Institute of CPAs, Academy of Political Scientists and the State Association of County Auditors. As a member of these professional groups, I am required to undergo continuous training and held to highest ethical and professional standards.