There aren’t that many contested races in Butte County on this year’s June California primary ballot.

But one of them is for a very important position that doesn’t always get much attention from the public: Auditor-Controller.
According to the office’s page on the Butte County website, the mission of the Auditor-Controller’s Office is “dedicated to providing public oversight, fiscal leadership, financial integrity, transparency and accountability through the effective fiscal monitoring, reporting, auditing and safeguarding of public resources and to provide service, assistance and information to the Public, Board of Supervisors, the Administrative Office, County Departments, Employees and Special Districts.”
Longtime Auditor-Controller David Houser is retiring this year, and there are two candidates vying to replace him: Biggs resident and current Assistant Auditor-Controller Graciela Gutierrez, and Chico Accounting Manager Kathryn Mathes.
At Butte County, she was the manager of governmental accounts.
A former employee of the Butte County Auditor-Controller’s office, Mathes touts her experience helping to turn around the finances of the city of Chico.
Mathes said she’d also like to work to lessen turnover in the department, which she said has become an issue in recent years.
“When you’re constantly having to train new people, it’s a drain on the quality of your work,” Mathes said. “People are taking pay cuts to leave, so we really need to work on the morale of the office.”
She’s a graduate of both Palomar College and San Diego State University.
The primary election is scheduled for next Tuesday, June 5.