Two ballot measures go head to head for Eugene city auditor

The measures both share a common goal, but have different ways of achieving it.

Posted: Apr. 13, 2018 7:25 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- There's a growing push for more oversight within the city of Eugene, and some people want a city auditor position to be created.

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Representatives from two groups, each with unique ballot measures regarding a city auditor, rallied at a Eugene City Club meeting Friday.

About 100 community members were at the meeting, discussing the pros and cons of the two measures that voters will see on the November ballot.

The first push, organized by volunteers in a group called City Accountability, is Measure 20-283. More than 13,000 people signed to support the measure, ensuring its spot on the ballot. It started as a grassroots campaign to create what the group is calling an independent, elected city auditor.

The auditor, according to the group, would detect and prevent fraud, improve services and reduce risk exposure.

One of the most important parts of their plan is that this auditor would be independent from the city. Bonny McCornack, a spokesperson for measure 20-283, worries that an auditor appointed in the opposing measure would be too closely connected to city officials.

"The auditor in the city's measure is not independent," McCornack said. "The council-appointed auditor's authority and roles are entirely conditioned on the approval and direction from the council majority. Every step their auditor takes must be sanctioned by city officials."

A spokesperson for the other measure said that's not true at all. He argues that in Measure 20-287, the auditor would be independent, too.

Supporters of 20-287 said one of the issues with the first measure is that there isn't time for a runoff vote. They also said it would be too expensive, and is missing vital residency requirements.

Joshua Skov, a spokesperson for measure 20-287, said there are just too many flaws with measure 20-283. He said 20-287 can provide the same benefits, without the drawbacks.

"This is about the details and 283 has way too many flaws to be put into our city charter," Skov said. "I really encourage people to vote for 287 because it will deliver exactly the benefits that you hear from the proponents of 283 as well."

He also said some of the arguments made by the other side were disingenuous, like the claim that it would not raise taxes, and that a residency requirement isn't necessary for many city officials.

For more information about Measure 20-283, click here.
For more information about Measure 20-287, click here.

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