‘They just put it on the ballot in order to act as a spoiler for our measure’

On May 16, 2018, KVAL reported:

Voters in Eugene defeated competing measures that would have established the position of city auditor.

The measure calling for an auditor elected by voters and independent of the City Council and city manager was the first citizen initiative to qualify for the city ballot in over 20 years.

The measure calling for an auditor appointed by the City Council appeared on the ballot as an alternative to the elected auditor.

Backers of the elected auditor blamed that competing measure for the defeat of both auditor proposals.

“They just put it on the ballot in order to act as a spoiler for our measure,” said Bonnie Bettman-McCornack, who co-chaired the campaign for the elected auditor. “If they had not interfered to the extent that they interfered in the election, we would have won.”

Supporters of a Council-appointed auditor had a different take on the results.

“We trust the voters,” said Rob Zako. “The voters decided that neither of the proposals were right, but there’s clearly interest in more accountability and transparency in our city government, and Citizens for Sensible Oversight will continue working for that.”

Critics of the elected auditor measure argued it cost taxpayers too much – the auditor would earn a salary based on an average of other top-paying local government jobs, with a department budget of 1/10 of one percent of the total city budget – and that the auditor would have no accountability except to voters.

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