A new candidate popped up last week in the race for city treasurer.
Kayla Martinez pulled candidate papers on Thursday. Sopheap Dong-Carreon pulled papers on July 14. Neither has returned their papers to be verified candidates but have until Aug. 12 to do so.
After having served a number of terms, incumbent City Treasurer Harry Herbert is not seeking re-election.
The treasurer acts as an oversight, many times just providing a signature to documents.
In years past there has been little interest in the job – Herbert has run unopposed numerous times – so the city tried to get the voters to pass Measure X in 2018 to have the position filled by council appointment since the California Government Code allows cities to have an elected or appointed city treasurer despite most of the city’s finances managed by the Finance Director. The measure failed. Herbert desired stepping down at the end of his term in 2019 but agreed to serve another year until the Nov. 3, 2020 election.
Dong-Carreon, a resident of Ceres for 10 years and the Valley for 30 years, has been an accountant with the city of Turlock for three years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal State University, Stanislaus in 2014 and her master’s degree at National University in 2019. She has been treasurer for the Turlock Police Activities League for three years.
“I’ve decided to run because I feel that I bring an extensive accounting background to the treasury position,” said Sopheap. “This position requires an individual to have a keen sense for numbers and details along with a strong understanding of financial reports. I just want to highlight that I am fully capable of performing all those duties and much more on day one.”
As an accountant with the city of Turlock, some of my responsibilities involved reconciliation of various bank accounts, preparing treasury reports for the city’s treasurer, reconciling ledgers and auditing. As treasurer for Turlock PAL, she’s primarily responsible for reconciling bank accounts, investing idle cash into high yield accounts, preparing budget reports and financial statements, and filing annual reports to both the state Franchise Tax Board and federal IRS.
“Overall, accounting and auditing is a field that I truly enjoy working in and do have a passion for. It is the main reason why I decided to go back to school and pursue my master’s degree in accountancy.”
In 2018, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board recognized her passion by awarding her with a $10,000 scholarship to pursue her education.
“I am hoping that I can bring this passion and be of service to my community by providing them with more than just a signature, but a signature of experience.”
Kayla Martinez said she is running to give back to the community. Having grown up in Ceres – she attended Sam Vaughn Elementary – and moving away during high school only to return to make Ceres home with her husband Daniel Martinez (a council candidate) three years ago, she has been more involved in the community sports through their children.
“We decided we want to set roots and Ceres is where we want to grow old so we just wanted to try to figure out a way where we can both be more active and make a difference in what we see in our city. It kind of jump started with Daniel finding out the opportunity about being a possible city councilmember. We saw the opening for the city treasury position as well and I decided to toss my hat into the ring because I really do like finances and money.”
Martinez has a degree in education and is a branch manager of one of the top grossing branches for the Plus Group, a staffing agency based out of Illinois.
“My original goal was to be a teacher but I ended up taking a little bit different direction.”
Martinez said she doesn’t see any conflicts should she become city treasurer and her husband is elected to serve on the city council. She said if the public has any misgivings they need to know “we are here to what’s best for our community.”