Los Angeles County Treasury official: ‘Public service is the opportunity to create change’

Profiles in Power highlights public officials nationwide who are improving their communities through their dedication, enthusiasm, creativity and experience.

This week’s profile is Benjamin M. Effinger, treasury manager for the Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector.

Public career highlights and education: I served honorably in the United States Air Force Security Forces for eight years, from 2002 to 2010. Assignments included Nuclear Security, Presidential Security, Law Enforcement, Criminal Investigations and a combat tour to Iraq in 2005. After separating from Active Duty in 2010, I transitioned to a role in higher education law enforcement while pursuing my Master of Public Administration through American Military University.

Moving to Southern California in 2012, I was able to join the county of Los Angeles in 2013, starting off as a County Management Fellow with the Treasurer and Tax Collector, overseeing the billing and collection of 2.3 million property tax billings annually. I moved through the management ranks to division manager, overseeing a staff of 50 within the Public Service Division of the Tax Collections Branch. In 2022, I pivoted from tax collections to take over the Cash Management Division of the Banking Operations Branch, overseeing day-to-day cashflow, revenue and disbursement and overall cash poison.

In addition to my local government treasury management role, I am currently a third-year doctoral student in the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) Program in the University of La Verne, College of Law and Public Service, where I also serve as the Student Public Administration Association (SPAA) president.

What I like best about public service: I think what I like best about public service is the opportunity to create change in our own backyard. Being a local government administrator, I carry out the policy and administer the programs necessary to keep our community thriving and addressing the needs that arise in various populations and communities within our County. Local government is one of the very few career paths that the work you do in your role can impact the trajectory of the community where you live. Public service is all about the people, and it is important for us as public administrators to maintain the policy/administration dichotomy and inform the policymakers on how to operationally solve the issues within the community.

The best advice I’ve received: “You are always training your replacement.” I had great non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in the military that always preached that we are replaceable and that we were to know the job of the person both above and below us in the chain of command. I have carried that mentality into my local government career, and I am always actively teaching, training and mentoring the next generation of local government professionals that will replace me when the time comes.

People might be interested to know that: I am a published author with both the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and am soon making my network television debut on Lifetime Channel and Armed Forces Network (AFN).

One thing I wish more people knew about county government: I wish more people understood the role of city and county treasury managers and their importance to the financing of government operations. Without the daily movement of millions, sometimes billions of dollars (in the case of Los Angeles County), government would screech to a halt and critical public services would cease to the communities and constituents that depend upon the local government to provide.

Government Market News Staff

Welcome to Government Market News, your trusted source for in-depth coverage of the U.S. government marketplace. Our dedicated editorial team provides comprehensive insights on contracting opportunities, private-public partnerships, funding programs, and industry trends. As a publication of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., we offer unrivaled expertise to help you navigate this unique marketplace successfully.

Don't Miss

Massive support, funding now available to improve supply-chain networks

New opportunities for multimodal freight, rail, and port projects are
A hospital hallway.

New hospitals greenlit for Amarillo, Wichita Falls

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is searching