Election 2002


Council proposal
creates Oahu auditor

The auditor would head a dedicated
office and have a 6-year term

Honolulu council candidates

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

The city would get its own Auditor's Office under a proposed amendment to the City Charter being asked of Oahu voters.

The amendment would allow the City Council to appoint an auditor for a term of six years who would head up an Office of the Auditor.

The Council could remove the auditor "for cause" by a two-thirds vote.

Historically, the Office of Council Services has conducted both financial and performance audits as part of its role as the research arm of the Council.

Controversy over programs such as Sunset on the Beach spurred the proposed City Charter amendment to appoint an auditor.

But according to Councilman Jon Yoshimura, who introduced the measure, recent criticism of city agencies and programs -- from the Ewa Villages scandal to questions about the cost of the Sunset on the Beach program -- show the need for a better-funded and more focused Auditor's Office. The auditor would also have subpoena powers.

Mayor Jeremy Harris signed the bill allowing the amendment to go on the ballot but expressed worries about the cost of maintaining the office and the necessity for creating another layer of bureaucracy.

Yoshimura has estimated it would cost the city between $200,000 and $500,000 to hire four to six people, including one auditor.

Question No. 1

Shall the Revised City Charter be amended to:

(1) Establish an office of the city auditor;

(2) Provide for the appointment of the city auditor and define the duties and powers thereof; and

(3) Make other clarifying and conforming amendments?

E-mail to City Desk


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