When I read my Madera Tribune the other day and learned that the Madera County Board of Supervisors recently voted to retain an outside consultant to perform an audit of the office of Treasurer-Tax Collector Tracy Kennedy Desmond, an old controversy about one of our early tax collectors came to mind.
I thought immediately of Charles F. Preciado. As Madera County’s tax collector, he almost went to jail 100 years ago.
Now, I am in no way suggesting that Desmond is in trouble; it’s just that there is nothing new under the sun. She is not the first county tax collector about whom other county officials have raised questions.
When Madera County voters chose Charles Preciado as their tax collector in 1910, he became California’s youngest elected public official. For almost four years he served in that capacity, and then in 1914, he geared up for another reelection campaign...