In the November 16, 2017, issue of the Eugene Weekly, Portland resident Joe Daunt writes in a letter:
While I now live in Portland, I formerly lived in Eugene, and still follow events there. Kudos to those who gathered 13,000 petition signatures to establish an independent elected city auditor for Eugene.
Here in Portland, we appreciate our elected auditor. With a budget of $10 million and a staff of 50, she provides a good counterweight to the mayor and city commissioners, who are full-time employees managing city departments.
But Eugene has a different form of government. The ballot measure appears to be a vote of no confidence in the mayor and City Council, as it provides them with no new authority or resources to guide the city. Rather the proposal risks creating a power struggle over who really runs the city. The lowly-paid mayor and council have the authority but the highly-paid auditor has her own staff and, potentially, legal counsel.
The mayor and City Council should embrace the need for better city government. Time is running out for them to either support the current proposal as welcome and beneficial, or else offer an alternative they believe will help them serve the community better.