Board briefed on Multnomah County's good financial condition

June 20, 2013

Multnomah County is “in a good financial condition to serve” its constituents as the economy improves, the Auditor’s Office said at a briefing Thursday.

The financial condition report presented June 20 to the county Board of Commissioners by Auditor Steve March and principal county auditor Judith DeVilliers analyzes indices that included resources coming into the county, how those resources were used and the county’s financial health over time.

Also assessed in the biennial report are changes in population and the economy, and how those changes can affect county services.

“We do commend the board and prior boards for their financial stewardship,” March said. “It’s made this county a very strong organization.”

The 22-page report said the county has met the standard of good financial condition, as measured by maintaining services to the public while meeting changing service demands and withstanding economic downturns.

“In five of the eleven reports we have published we have made recommendations for policies or actions to improve the county’s financial condition. We are not making additional recommendations in this report and are pleased to report that nearly all of our recommendations have been implemented to date,” the report added. “The county’s past commitment to solid
financial policies has put us in a good financial condition to serve our constituents as conditions improve.”

Auditors in their board presentation credited tough financial decisions made over time by the board -- such as reducing debt over the past decade from $418 million to $254 million -- for the largely positive audit.

“Keep on doing what you’re doing,” DeVilliers told the board while urging commissioners to continue heeding the prudent advice of Budget Director Karyne Kieta and Chief Financial Officer Mark Campbell.

“This is really good news,” Chair Jeff Cogen said. “The actions we have been taking put us on this right track.”

Additional coverage of the audit can be found in this piece by The Oregonian.