COUNTY ISSUE 9
COUNTY ISSUE 9 - PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENT
Shall Article XI, Section 11.01 of the Charter of the County of Cuyahoga be amended to ensure the independence of the county’s auditing function by providing that the County Audit Committee consist of the President of Council or a member of Council appointed by the President of Council, four residents of the county with experience in the field of auditing, accounting, government operations, or financial reporting who are to be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by Council, with the County Executive and Fiscal Officer each serving as non-voting, ex officio members?
LWV PLAINSPEAK: Should we amend the Cuyahoga County Carter to change the structure of the County Audit Committee, to make sure its auditing function is independent? The proposed structure would consist of five members: the County Council President or a Council member he/she selects, and four other county residents who have a background in auditing, accounting or other financial operations. Those four would be appointed by the County Executive but approved by the County Council. The County Executive and Fiscal Officer would serve on the Committee only as non-voting members.
PRO: By all accepted auditing standards, an Audit Committee must be independent of the Executive and Fiscal Office that are being audited. However, the amendment still allows those two non-voting officials to be fully aware of the Committee’s work and findings, while one knowledgeable and voting Council Member provides a legislative balance. The four private sector members are required to have relevant qualifications to get through both the appointment and confirmation process. These compromises make the amendment acceptable to all sides and comply with accepted auditing standards.
CON: The County Charter’s original intent was to give the County Executive and his appointed Fiscal Officer the chairmanship and two votes on the County Audit Committee of five, in order to help them better manage the large Executive bureaucracy efficiently and effectively. Under this amendment that purpose would be lost, since the role of those two most important fiscal officials is reduced to that of non-voting, ex-officio Committee members. The County Executive needs to have significant weight on the Audit Committee, and therefore the structure of that body should remain as is.
League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters has compiled information for each of the issues that Heights voters will be voting on in November.
For your information:
- The title listed for each issue is the official title assigned by the Ohio Ballot Board.
- Summaries of each issue immediately following the official ballot wording originated from material issued by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections or, in the case of Issue 53, citations from the resolution submitted to the Cuyahoga Board of Elections by the Cleveland Heights City Council.
- LEAGUE PLAINSPEAK summaries of the state and county ballot issues were prepared by members of the League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund and The League of Women Voters - Cuyahoga County.
- The pros and cons listed for each issue are abbreviated versions of the arguments put forward by the respective issue campaigns.
The League of Women Voters is a national non-partisan organization that supports or opposes issues it studies, but does not endorse candidates.
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