Redondo Beach City Councilman Steve Diels has decided to run for city treasurer, joining former Councilman Chris Cagle in the race to fill the open seat.
The city was forced to call an election for May 14 because former Treasurer Ernie O'Dell decided to retire in December with more than two years left in his fifth term.
Cagle, who served on the council for District 2 from 2003 to 2009, declared his candidacy at a Dec. 18 meeting during which members appointed Thomas Gaian to serve as temporary acting treasurer.
Diels is termed out of his District 4 seat, which is up for grabs in the March 5 election. City Clerk Eleanor Manzano said that with 14 candidates running for council seats and the Mayor's Office, a runoff election is highly likely and would be combined with the May 14 treasurer's contest. Redondo's charter requires that winners receive more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.
Diels, who owns his own answering service company, said, "I'm not just running for the office of treasurer. I'm running to reform the office of treasurer." He said the city's administrative costs were too high compared with the return on the funds invested by the treasurer.
Cagle, a mortgage broker, said he sees the office serving "as an important check and balance on our government system, and I'd like to see the treasurer be more engaged in oversight. I will also be exploring ideas that save the city money and manage things more efficiently."
The filing period for the treasurer's race closes at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 15.
The job - open to registered city voters and those who have been residents for at least 30 days before filing papers - comes with a $116,950 annual salary and benefits, including cellphone and car allowances as well as health insurance and a pension. The city charter requires the treasurer be able to serve full time in the position. Both Cagle and Diels said they would be able to fulfill that requirement.
Manzano said Tuesday that only Cagle and Diels have pulled papers to run for the office.
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