In the May 16, 2013, issue of the Eugene Weekly, reporter Shannon Finnell writes:
At more than 400 pages, deciphering a city budget can be like trying to decode DNA. That’s why Eugene needs an independent auditor to examine it, figure out where and how much money the city could save and make it more sustainable, according to city councilors past and present and a former Eugene budget clerk.
Gerry Merritt, a retired computer science instructor who worked as a clerk in the city’s budget office for 14 years, says the budget is complicated enough that Eugene could benefit from an external auditor. He says that an auditor could figure out the answers to questions such as why the capital funds budget increased by millions of dollars, and where the city is repeatedly budgeting for expenditures it’s not making, which Merritt says is a fairly common practice in most cities.
Understanding the budget and where money can be saved is key as the City Council and voters ponder Measure 20-211, the city services fee. …