Make Auditing Great Again! Yes on 20-283, No on 20-287

In the April 26, 2018, issue of the Eugene Weekly, staff write:

Who doesn’t want genuine oversight of the doings of city government?

Well, the backers of Ballot Measure 20-287 don’t, for one. The measure is the Eugene City Council’s cynical response to a previously filed citizens’ initiative — Ballot Measure 20-283 — that would create an independent and separately elected city auditor.

The backers of the city-approved auditor proposal would have you believe otherwise, but the timing of their ballot measure makes it clear that 20-287 is nothing but a poison pill — a tried-and-true tactic in Oregon and elsewhere in which established interests try to undermine a reform proposal by offering a watered-down version of the original idea on the same ballot. The goal is to muddy the issue and split the vote so that neither measure passes.

The original measure in this case — 20-283 — would create an independent elected performance auditor to oversee city programs. The auditor would not be appointed by the city council but would be elected directly by the citizens. The measure also establishes a budget for the auditor’s office of 0.1 percent of the city budget, a reasonable sum.

The council’s watered-down version would have the council appoint its own auditor and give the office about a third of the originally proposed budget to work with. Both ideas weaken the auditor so much that the office would become just one more drag on the city’s budget without providing a clear benefit.

Vote for a real auditor with a “yes” on 20-283 and a “no” on 20-287.

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