A Change is Gonna Come: Primary election delivers new blood in Lane County and Oregon

In the May 17, 2018, issue of the Eugene Weekly, reporter Henry Houston writes:

… Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis told EW she’s happy to hear that the two parks bonds passed. However, she said, the people of Eugene have said they’re not ready for the large step of an elected or appointed auditor.

Fifty-three percent of ballots voted “No” on Measure 20-283, which would establish an elected auditor. However, 75 percent of voters rejected Measure 20-287, which would have the city of Eugene appoint an auditor.

“The city has the possibility of contracting an external auditor in the short term,” Vinis says. “So I would recommend to City Council and city manager that they explore contracting an auditor in order to bridge this time. I will look into having a community conversation about both of these that failed and what structure would work.”

She said she hopes to sit down with those who supported an elected auditor. Contracting out an auditor in the meantime, she added, is a smaller step of showing voters the importance of an auditor.

Bonny Bettman McCornack, a chief petitioner for 20-283, disagrees with Vinis.

“I think the fact that voters voted it down is going to be interpreted by the city as permission to double-down on their double dealing,” McCornack said. “There’s no transparency, no accountability and never will be.”

The city might realize there is citizen interest in transparency through hiring a contract auditor, but McCornack said that means the city manager would hire the auditor. That, she said, would only be an illusion of accountability. …

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