Barn door closing late, but still key
April 3, 2018
Having read the state law regarding the combination of two offices, such as the auditor and recorder, we agree it is prohibited in Douglas County, for now.
But it's certainly possible the Legislature could be asked to increase that limit, and may likely do so without any prompting.
In 2009, the law increased the population of counties that could combine two offices from 40,000 to the current 45,000.
It is not unusual for the Legislature to increase those limits each decade, and if history is any indicator the limit could be increased to 50,000 in 2019.
That would make it possible for county voters to approve combining the offices of recorder and auditor, something that's technically illegal for now.
We would have agreed with the concept of having an elected official serve as the county's chief auditor before the revelations accompanying Tiregate.
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Now it seems more important to have someone responsible to the voters in charge of ensuring the public's money is spent conducting the public's business.
On Thursday, commissioners will hear the county manager's response to the March 21 grand jury report.
Having read the response as part of the commission packet, we recognize that several of the two-dozen recommendations are either in progress or have been implemented.
But we're not sure the internal review committee is entirely the answer to the recommendations for an internal budget committee. The debate over the asset management program by commissioners also raised questions as to whether that position would be sufficient to prevent future efforts to loot the county coffers.
We know that a clever thief can work around many safeguards. But to have had so much taken over such a long period of time beggars the imagination.
We feel that the answer requires both belt and suspenders to prevent future Tiregates.