Elected Auditor = Red Herring

In the January 11, 2018, issue of the Eugene Weekly, Eugene resident Robin Bloomgarden writes in a letter:

Some City Council members worry that Eugene’s “elected independent auditor will be the highest-paid elected official” in Oregon. So what! Topnotch candidates need a competitive salary — otherwise you lose them — and that’s why Eugene pays department heads and managers more than any elected official. There are issues with that too, but we want the best-qualified candidates to apply, right? Most elected officials don’t need a high school diploma, but the elected auditor must meet tough professional qualifications in order to even be considered.

Eugene’s appointed city manager makes approximately $225,000 plus benefits, and the appointed city attorney receives $169,187 plus 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 Eugene City Council singling out the “elected” city auditor to complain about salaries?

I see no correlation with elected and non-elected salaries and the value we citizen’s 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 auditor — which is more accountability than either city councilors or the city manager receives.

As to how we exercise citizen oversight, it is we, the electors, who have the ultimate oversight, using recall, or voting for someone else in four years!

Our councilors have the authority to make good decisions, but lack the clear information necessary to do it. The auditor is the missing tool.

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