Supervisors appoint new treasurer to fill pending vacancy

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved the appointment of a deputy Riverside County treasurer-tax collector to take over as the county’s tax chief when the current one retires in less than three months.
Matthew Jennings is slated to officially take the helm at the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector on Sept. 24.
Jennings will be replacing elected Treasurer-Tax Collector Jon Christensen, who has served in county government for 18 years.
Christensen did not make a formal announcement concerning his retirement. But according to Supervisor Kevin Jeffries’ office, word was received in recent weeks that he will leave in September, prompting Jeffries and Supervisor Karen Spiegel to jointly recommend that Jennings be appointed to fill the pending vacancy.
“Mr. Jennings has been in the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector more than 26 years, serving in numerous capacities,” the supervisors stated in a joint message to the board. “During the last three years, he served as the assistant treasurer-tax collector, directing all operational aspects of the department, including oversight of the $8 billion treasurer’s pooled investment fund.”
They stressed the need for an experienced hand to preserve “the fiscal strength of the county … during these economic times,”  adding the appointment of Jennings “will provide a seamless transition in leadership and continuity.”
There was no word on why Christensen was leaving office. He is only halfway through the four-year term to which he was elected in 2018. His wife, Karen Christensen, retired from county government earlier this month.
Christensen was also initially appointed to the position of tax chief in 2017 after his then-boss, Don Kent, left the job to become the county’s chief financial officer. Christensen was elected to the post in his own right less than a year later.