Fiscal Accountability

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

In EW Letters Dec. 28, 2017, Ben Torres joins the well-connected defenders of the city status quo by mimicking their favorite talking point, which complains that the estimated (can go up or down) $153,000 salary of the proposed elected independent city auditor would be “the highest paid elected official in Oregon” — which is not true, and a matter of public record.

Many Oregon elected officials make more than the proposed elected independent Eugene city auditor’s compensation as prescribed in Ballot Measure 20-283, to be voted on in May. The Lane County district attorney, as well as the Clackamas County district attorney and Sheriff, make more, for example.

Opponents seek to confuse and weaponize the salary issue by using the “elected” distinction. The more relevant comparison is with city department heads and top administrators, over which the auditor will have oversight responsibilities, like the city manager ($220,313), EWEB general manager ($265,460), Eugene city attorney ($169,187), assistant city manager ($146,515), and executive directors of central services, fire/EMS services, library recreation and cultural services, planning and development, police services and public works, all of whose salaries are in the $147,000 range and who all have guaranteed raises and do not have to run for election every four years.

The residents of Eugene are at the very least baffled, and at worst disgusted, with how the Eugene government spends tax dollars. We need an elected independent city auditor who is a public representative and has the authority to follow the money.

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