Utica Councilman Joe Marino is proposing qualifications for the city comptroller's post, however, there is a lingering question about what requirements you can mandate on a publicly elected position.

While the comptroller's office is charged with 'balancing the people's check book', there are currently no requirements that the office holder have a financial background of any kind, or experience in any other particular field.

Appearing this week on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning, Marino stated his belief that such a position should be held by a certified public accountant with at least ten years experience, but also acknowledged he wasn't certain it was possible to put such a mandate on an elected office.

When current comptroller Bill Morehouse called in to respond he said he wasn't troubled by the idea, but also accused Marino of trying to hammer out a personal vendetta and encouraged him to change political party affiliation:

''An elected official is a person who oversees the operation and puts the right people in place and hires the right people to do the job, an that's how I saw my position when I was elected. If you wanna hire a CPA or something, that should be done by the council or the mayor,'' Morehouse said, adding that if the city wants to pay $150,000 to instead have a CPA in charge of the office then that decision should first be made via public referendum.

''I would think before you go forward with something like this, you would come into my office, talk to my people, talk to me, see how the operation is going and see what my thoughts are. But, I haven't seen Joe Marino in my office in two and a half years, so. But that's up to him how he goes after these things as a councilman,'' Morehouse said. He also said he has senior people in his office who know accounting 'inside out' and would soon be asking the council to fund another accounting position in the comptroller's office.

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