Oceanside will appoint next treasurer after election winner dies

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. – A month after residents re-elected the incumbent city treasurer who died in September, Oceanside officials held a meeting Wednesday determining to appoint the city's next treasurer rather than appoint the election runner-up.

"He was such a well liked, well qualified treasurer (that) it would have been no contest... the only reason this contest was even close is because he passed away,” said city councilman Jerry Kern.

The city of Oceanside held a swearing-in ceremony for the offices of mayor, City Council and city clerk Wednesday. One position will remain empty for the meantime – city treasurer.

Gary Ernst won treasurer by six points against Nadine Scott, an attorney and community activist. Unfortunately, he will not be able to perform his duties as he passed away.

"These elected officials need to do what they’re sworn by oath to do that’s vacate the office and appoint the only person who ran because he was not qualified,” said Scott.

San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Ernst’s death was announced in an email newsletter sent by the city on September 23. His name remained on the ballot due to the ballot printing deadline, which had already passed.

“She’s saying well I came in second I should get a participation trophy or something it’s not going to happen,” said Kern.

City officials decided to forgo a special election, which would have cost around $500,000.

Scott went before city officials Wednesday asking to be considered for treasurer, but they decided to open an application process.

Residents interested in becoming treasurer have until January 7, 2017 to apply.