Need full-time council and auditor

In the February 21, 2018, issue of the Register-Guard, Eugene resident and former Eugene Ward 1 City Councilor George Brown writes in a letter:

I agree with Brian Wanty’s Feb. 8 guest viewpoint, which says Eugene needs a full-time City Council. But when he claims that we don’t need an independent, elected financial and performance auditor, he betrays a misunderstanding of how an auditor’s office really functions.

He says an auditor would have “concentrated power,” whereas Ballot Measure 20-283 clearly establishes a firewall between the authority and responsibilities of the auditor and those of the city manager and of the mayor and council.

He says auditors can’t forecast “the complex and uncertain consequences of public policies,” but making such forecasts is not one of the auditor’s duties described in the measure. The auditor is required to have professional skills, experience and accreditation relevant to auditing and tracking complex public expenditures. The office’s work will provide enormous benefit to the city administration and council.

Finally, he claims that “auditing doesn’t embody or voice community values.” Since when are providing local government and citizens with unbiased information free of political agendas; ensuring efficient delivery of public services; detecting fraud and waste; and adhering to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility not community values?

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