Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This month I took some time to reflect on the work my office has accomplished in the last year. I am grateful to my amazing team for their hard work and dedication. Despite the challenges of auditing during a pandemic, we issued multiple audits and a survey report about the county’s response to the COVID-10 pandemic, including audits on congregate settings and organizational level support, the county’s management of pandemic funds, and a recommendation status evaluation on our first audit of the county’s response to the pandemic. We submitted our plan to reapportion county commissioner districts using data from the 2020 census, with the help of feedback from the community. We also passed our peer review and established the Auditor’s Community Advisory Committee (ACAC), which provides suggestions, comments and guidance on our annual audit plan, community engagement strategies, and the office’s work to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts into audits. After working with the committee for almost a year, I have found their input to be invaluable, and I’m grateful for their passion, dedication, and insight.
This month my office issued 2 very different communications about how the county is operating. One was a generally positive report on how the county has spent pandemic-related funds. The other was a memo required by government auditing standards on how the Joint Office had not been transparent in its verbal and written reporting. While the messages were very different, they both came from the same place: a dedication to ensuring the county is transparent with you and accountable to you.
As we move toward the end of the year, we are wrapping up our work on our audit of jail conditions, and are moving forward with the fieldwork phase of our audit of the county’s contact tracing efforts. Be sure to check out their respective web pages for more information!
Proposed amendments for the County Charter’s section on the Auditor
This month I submitted an overview of proposed amendments to the County Charter to the Multnomah County Charter Review Committee. The proposed amendments would make our office more transparent and accountable to the public, and strengthen our independence from the county operations we audit. Members of my Community Advisory Committee also submitted comments in support of the proposed amendments. If you support these amendments, please let the Committee know! You can submit public comment about my office’s proposed amendments or any other area of the Charter here or by sending an email to Kali.Odell@multco.us.
Democracy in Action
On December 1, I participated in Democracy in Action, an event at Central Catholic High School for senior students to meet government and political party officials. Commissioners Meieran, Stegmann, and Vega Pederson, and Sheriff Reese also attended, along with staff from the Secretary of State’s Office, our Congressional delegation, and a host of other government offices. The students asked great questions about the auditor’s role, the kinds of audits we do, and how they could become government auditors. I love the chance to talk with people about my office’s work and how they can get involved in their government. If you would like me or one of my staff to come talk with your organization, simply fill out this form and we’ll be in touch.
Helpful COVID-19 Links
- COVID-19 rent relief information for Multnomah County residents: Found out how to apply for emergency rent assistance.
- Complete list of current Multnomah County vaccination clinics, along with information about who is eligible (everyone!), accessing support for language access and for seniors, and information about the vaccination process.
- Information on the 2021 mask mandate
- If you would like information on how to stay healthy, slow the spread of the virus, or how to report any issues, please visit https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19.
- Unfortunately, some communities have experienced acts of racism and xenophobia because of the myths surrounding COVID-19; this county site has information about how to report discrimination and find support.
- If you are at work and your employer does not seem to be following public health directives, you can report that to Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Division.
- This page contains resources to support our communities as we experience the COVID-19 pandemic and get through this together.
- Learn more about COVID-19 community and business guidance from Multnomah County.
- Learn more about disability rights and COVID-19.