Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Franklin County Accountability Audit Report Released By The Washington State Auditor's Office

The Washington State Auditor's office has just released the results of their recent accountability audit. The audit report covers the period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

To read the report, click here.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

As 2017 unfolds and Spring is on its way.  I am committed to do everything I can in my capacity as your elected County Auditor to drive open government in Franklin County.  Open government and information transcend party and ideology.  Open Government is the foundation of better integrity and accountability in government.

To quote Founding Father James Madison:

"A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it
is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

In Franklin County all the meetings are recorded as a public record. Those recordings are heard and available internally to replay inside the Courthouse.  Unfortunately those recordings while being public record are not readily available for public consumption without cumbersome public records requests and internally using workforce hours to produce them.  I am committed to change that. The advancements in technology have made it easier than ever to lower the barriers to information that the public should have.  Easy access could improve the amount and quality of the media reporting, improve the public’s understanding of their local government and create more accountable decision across county government. More sunshine is always better in government.   
To that end, I will begin posting recordings on this blog  some pasts and all future immediately following each meeting with the eventual goal of encouraging the BOCC to do this easy technological step on their own.  I am envisioning a time when a PDF of the agenda and an audio file of the entire meeting could be sent to anyone interested: the media, citizens, anyone.
I will start with the month of March.  If the need to go back further arises or requests come in we will work to make other recordings available.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Great News For Franklin County Elections Department

See the Secretary of State Special Review Report of the Franklin County Elections Department.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

More news that was missed by the news...

Below is a copy of the comments I used to guide a discussion at the Franklin County Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 in which I encourage the board to get an appraisal when expending $539,504 of proceeds from the sale of property to re-acquire property that had previously been sold by the County.  The board voted 3-0 to proceed with the purchase without an appraisal.



As Auditor I have concerns the settlement agreement approved on April 8th (2015-153)regarding the purchase of a property from CMV Holdings and Franklin County at the TRAC Complex may be a gift of public funds.  Several elements are needed to alleviate my concerns.  A private sector/objective market based appraisal of the property and an open public discussion on the public purpose of the purchase. The content of the discussion may raise additional questions.

Why am I interested?

The recent auction at TRAC piqued my interest in the “what” and “why” the county was making this move now.  My almost 27 years in real estate means I am just interested in this stuff.    I had missed a few meetings and attempted to use the public record to figure it out.  Needles to say it has been instructive.  I could not find a record of how you arrived at the purchase price.  And worse from the record I could not discern a compelling public interest in exercising the reversionary clause.  I want to alert the Board to a condition that would hard for you to know.  Due to the number of Exec sessions you had and the lack of public discussion in the records a citizen would not be able to tell what you did and, more importantly, why you did it.  That is why I am here to today. The public deserves a transparent open government and those of us in this room can deliver on that if we make it a priority; there would have been no way for you to know the county was failing on that point.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

News that wasn’t in the news.

August 11, 2015

Just a quick note, Franklin Count sold 3 parcels located in the TRAC Complex last week that yielded close to a million dollars to the County.   The auction was held at the TRAC facility with Musser Brothers Auctions conducting the sale.  The funds could add a new variable to what is possible if the  City/County discussion proposed below comes to pass .  The next 20 years should be bright if we are willing to do the work plan a path forward.

The Auditor’s office has been working with the new GM, Tom French to develop and implement the policies and reporting  recommended in the Performance Audit.

Editorial From Sunday, April 26, 2015