Dear friends and neighbors,

Recently I heard a story on the radio about Ukrainian children attending school underground so they could learn and play together without worrying about bombs. And I thought of how war is damaging children in visible and invisible ways in Ukraine and Russia and Palestine and Israel, and in war zones I don’t know about.   

Photo by Josemaria Toscano

Closer to home, people in Maine are reeling from another mass shooting in our nation. In our own county, people are anxious and concerned about their loved ones in all of these places, as well as in places like Mexico and Afghanistan that have been devastated by natural disasters. And I hear from constituents who are concerned about their neighbors who are houseless, or who themselves are houseless, or who are going through challenging circumstances that are painful to learn about and hard to address.

When there is so much sorrow in our world, how do we care for ourselves, our friends, our families? How do we recognize the humanity we share with others? How do we care for our globe? 

There are steps we can each take right now to help support peace and a sustainable future for our planet. Check in on people you know to support each other’s well being. Donate your time and treasure to nonprofits aligned with your values. I appreciated this list of virtual, free trainings being offered by Right to Be - and shared out to county employees in the Employees of Color Resource Group - to help people combat Antisemitism and Islamophobia. Perhaps you can build one or more of these into your day:

Bystander Intervention to Stop Antisemitic Harassment 

  • November 2 at 4:00 - 5:00 PM, register here
  • November 14 at 4:00 - 5:00 PM, register here

Bystander Intervention to Stop Islamophobic and Xenophobic Harassment

  • November 1 at 2:30 - 3:30 PM, register here
  • November 17 at 10:30 - 11:30 AM, register here

You can also learn about the work my office has been doing and ask the County Chair and Commissioners how they will ensure our recommendations get implemented. You can find our recommendations on our reports page, or go directly to our most recent reports on the Joint Office of Homeless Services or on how the county can improve its budget process. 

So please, check in with your friends and family, and take the actions you can to support a Multnomah County and world where each person has the right to exist and the right to thrive.

Thank you,

Jennifer McGuirk
Multnomah County Auditor

Apply to be a Salary Commissioner!
There's still time to apply to serve on the Multnomah County Salary Commission! The Salary Commission sets the salaries for the Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, County Commissioners, and Sheriff, and the District Attorney’s county-paid supplemental salary. The commission will begin meeting in January 2024; Salary Commissioners receive modest stipends for each meeting they attend. We currently have two open spots. Applications must be submitted by November 20, 2023. The Charter specifies that:

  • The Commission is to include five members.
  • Members are to be qualified human resource professionals with compensation experience.
  • Elected or appointed County officials and employees cannot serve on the Commission.

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Graph based on # of days between when community budget advisory committees get letters to the Chair and Chair releases proposed budget.

Multnomah County Budget Process Audit

On October 24, my office released the Multnomah County Budget Process Audit: County needs better reporting on expenditures and more time for community involvement.

Audit work focused on best practices in public budgeting for monitoring of budgeted versus actual expenditures and the extent to which the county uses public engagement to help establish budget priorities. Work included reviewing budget and actual expenditures and reviewing community budget advisory committee activities, in addition to conducting interviews and research. The audit report included four recommendations for the county to improve transparency and community engagement in the budget process.

The full audit report is available on our website here.

American Society for Public Administration’s panel
American Society for Public Administration’s panel

Local and Nationwide Presentations

American Society for Public Administration’s panel about The Attack on Auditor Independence. From left to right (top row): Dr. Mark Funkhouser, president Funkhouser & Associates, former mayor and auditor, Kansas City, Missouri; moderator Rich Greene of Barrett and Greene, leaders in analysis, research and writing about state and local government management and policy; Auditor McGuirk. From left to right (bottom row): Jason Hadavi, Deputy City Auditor, Austin, Texas; Rob Sand, Iowa State Auditor. 

You can watch the hourlong discussion here

Oregon Audit Summit 2023
Photo on left: Oregon Audit Summit panel from left to right: Kristine Adams-Wannberg, Washington County Auditor, Jennifer McGuirk, Multnomah County Auditor, and Simone Rede, Portland City Auditor. Photo on right: Equity auditing panelist, Raymond De Silva

This month included the following presentations, as well:

  • Auditor McGuirk panelist with Portland Auditor Simone Rede at the Oregon Housing Conference.
  • Auditor McGuirk panelist for American Society for Public Administration.
  • Auditor McGuirk spoke at the Terwilliger Plaza about promoting accountable government.
  • Auditor McGuirk and Raymond De Silva presenters at the first Oregon Audit Summit. Raymond shared an outreach overview on how we are restoring human connection and cultivating deeper community relationships.

If you’d like me and or my staff to attend or speak at a meeting with your community group, simply fill out this form.