Fix simple for auditor accountability

In the December 16, 2017, issue of the Register-Guard, Eugene resident Robin Bloomgarden writes in a letter:

I agree with Anna Pena that more accountability for the proposed Eugene elected auditor might be useful, primarily a citizen review/advisory board or panel (“Why oppose more accountability?” Dec. 11).

The fix is simple, and requires no changes to the well-designed charter proposal. The council can establish, on its own—without a charter change—a citizen review board or other accountability mechanisms. I expect councilors would be willing to do so; if not, I have no doubt we can make it a successful election issue if we think it useful. Remember, there’s already substantial accountability, more than for any other elected position in Eugene, since audits are subject to both voter and peer review.

But to answer Pena’s question, it’s obvious why people might “oppose simple changes to make the proposed auditor more accountable” in the charter language itself. Many thousands of signatures have been collected; it has already qualified for the May ballot as Ballot Measure 20-283, and any changes would require starting over.

Again, there’s no need to start over if what we want is accountability. We can approve the charter amendment and get the council to make any necessary accountability improvements.

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