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San Mateo County Controller Bob Adler Won't Seek Election

As Controller, Adler serves as San Mateo County’s chief accounting officer and auditor.

San Mateo County Controller Bob Adler.  County photo.
San Mateo County Controller Bob Adler. County photo.
The seat for San Mateo's county controller will be wide open this coming election, as current Controller Bob Adler has announced he will not be throwing his name into the election hat.

Adler, who was appointed the role in 2012, said he wanted to let the public know of his decision prior to the opening of the filing period "...so that all qualified individuals can consider serving the County’s citizens as the leader of this independent, apolitical financial advisory office.”

The job of county controller encompasses the maintenance of San Mateo's accounting system and apportionment of funds, among other financial duties.

Here's the press release announcing Adler's retirement in its entirety: 

San Mateo County Controller Bob Adler announced that he will not seek election to the post this June after serving as the County’s top fiscal manager for the past two years and a long career in public service.

“I feel comfortable in retiring now as this office is staffed with vital and forward thinking professional managers and staff who do an amazing job,” Adler said. Adler praised his staff, saying, “These fantastic people have kept the cost of operations in our office low: we went from 54 full-time equivalent employees in 1999 and are now at 43: evidence of smart, forward thinking management and staff who leverage technology to get the people’s work done at the lowest possible cost.”

“I feel comfortable that the office is being handed over so that any new Controller will have time to assist the Board and citizens in providing independent, accurate and transparent financial information without having to spend time in managing day to day operations,” he said.

In his announcement to colleagues, Adler said, “I cannot express the depth of my gratitude for the opportunity of working with you over, what will be, 20 years. It has truly been a privilege to be a part of this extraordinary group of individuals who are so dedicated and talented.”

Adler was appointed Controller in 2012. He chose to make this announcement prior to the opening of the election filing period, “So that all qualified individuals can consider serving the County’s citizens as the leader of this independent, apolitical financial advisory office.”

As Controller, Adler serves as San Mateo County’s chief accounting officer and auditor. The Controller maintains the County’s accounting system and produces independently audited and award winning annual financial reports that disclose the fiscal condition of the County to the public. The office also performs internal and operational audits of departments, agencies and contracts and also processes the payroll for all employees. The Controller provides many fiscal services to school districts and special districts throughout San Mateo County.

The Controller, for instance, is responsible for the apportionment of more than $1.8 billion in property taxes that affect every school, city and special district in the County. Adler stated, “In the recent, massively complex dissolution of redevelopment agencies (RDAs), the dissolution was managed so expertly by office personnel that no significant issues arose between the County and the Successor Agencies to the RDAs. When the State recently audited the County, no significant findings related to the RDA dissolution nor any other property tax apportionment methodologies were highlighted.”

Adler began his career with San Mateo County nearly 20 years ago and has worked as a certified public account in the Bay Area for more than 35 years.

“I’m looking forward to spending much more time with my growing family and achieving other life goals. Teaching accounting has always been a passion and I would like to help veterans obtain this employable skill. My life’s ‘to-do’ list is long, but most importantly I leave knowing this office is in expert hands.”

His retirement will become official at the end of the current term at midnight on Jan. 3, 2015.


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