Of the three candidates running for County Treasurer-Tax Collector, there’s only one person remotely qualified for the post: Harry Hagen. And his qualifications are immense. Hagen has spent the past seven years working as the second-in-command under outgoing County Treasurer Bernice James. (She and all five county supervisors, by the way, have endorsed Hagen.) For the seven years before that, he worked in the office. At a time when the recession and the state budget crisis are playing havoc with county finances, it’s essential that we elect a competent county treasurer who can mind the store. The job sounds a lot simpler than it is. In years past, the Santa Barbara School District was constantly discovering sums of money it never knew it had, while simultaneously confronting chronic deficits. In such an atmosphere rational fiscal planning is nearly impossible and public trust, especially from those asked to sacrifice, well nigh impossible. With Hagen at the helm, we are confident that the decision-makers will get the straight dope when they need it. In addition, Hagen, born and bred in Goleta, has vowed to use the affiliated office of the public guardian to combat elder abuse.