Auditor pay issue is a red herring

In the December 13, 2017, issue of the Register-Guard, Eugene resident Robin Bloomgarden writes in a letter:

Some members of the City Council worry that Eugene’s elected independent auditor will be the highest-paid “elected” official in Oregon. So what? Top-notch candidates need a competitive salary—otherwise you lose them—and that’s why Eugene pays department heads and managers lots more than any elected official. We want the best qualified candidates to apply, right? Most elected officials don’t even need a high school diploma to run, but the elected auditor will have to meet tough professional qualifications in order to file as a candidate.

Eugene’s non-elected city manager makes approximately $225,000 plus benefits, and the non-elected city attorney makes $169,187 plus added benefits. Elected state and circuit court judges average between $135,775 and $150,571 plus benefits, and elected district attorneys make up to $170,000. So, why is the City Council singling out the elected city auditor to complain about salaries?

I don’t see any correlation with elected and non-elected salaries and the value we citizens receive, or don’t receive, for our money. Auditing what the city does is where the real value comes in! City Accountability’s Measure 20-283 includes regular outside professional auditing of the elected auditor—which is way more accountability than city councilors have.

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