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Volunteers push for elected auditor position in Eugene

EUGENE AUDITOR MTG.jpg

EUGENE, Ore. - Some of Eugene's residents are trying to create a new position that would serve as the City of Eugene' Independent Auditor.

A group of volunteers in Eugene, called City Accountability is aiming to collect 10,000 signatures and put the new position on the May 2018 ballot.

We spoke with Bonny Bettman McCornack, one of the three chief petitioners and former city councilor.

She and the group say there's a need to restore transparency and accountability in local government spending and operations, and believe electing an independent auditor would help do that.

On Thursday night, McCornack met with a group specially appointed by Mayor Lucy Vinis to discuss and review terms of what would go on the ballot, and also how the city could add it's own auditor role.

The group was formed to study how other cities utilize an auditor and what exactly the position would entail.

But McCornack says she's concerned a private group selected by the mayor could have a possible conflict of interest when sharing results with the council.

"It's that pretense of it being a private study group," said McCornack. "It blurs the lines between what's public and what's private."

Marty Wilde, Co-Chair of the study group specifies:

"Our purpose is to take a look around and see what works, how it works, and where it works to give something for City Council to look at and consider their options."

So far, the study group has looked at how a few cities, like Berkley and Portland have handled their auditor positions.

They plan to gather more information on other cities as well.

City Accountability will continue to gather signatures until the October 12th deadline to be added to the ballot.

Click the link, City Accountability, for more information on the group's initiative.

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