Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 8, 2016

You had one job, part 2

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Continued from last week’s post.

Early this year when Mike McMahon was kicking around the idea of running I asked the City for numbers on how much the City spends on third party auditing firms to actually perform the audit and how much money from the City budget is being spent on all the perks of being the elected City Auditor.

After all, given the sort of extraneous nature of the role it would be nice to know how much extra on top of the the cost for the independent auditing firm the City is paying out.

So first, how much the City of Alameda has paid to the independent auditing firms to perform the yearly audit:

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 7.19.38 PM

So less than $200K every year, it’s not clear why the amount jumped so much from FY 12/13 to FY 13/14 but that might account as to why the City has changed auditing firms for the FY 14/15 year.

The City Auditor, while he doesn’t pull in a substantial sum of money, certainly is getting some benefits from holding what appears to be a largely ceremonial title, this is how much the City has expended since our current Auditor first election until today, well actually, the beginning of this year since I asked for the information in January and have been sitting on it.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 7.19.19 PM

Generously rounding down, it’s been in these past few years about $25K a year between stipends, insurance, pers contributions, and health care.  Essentially it’s a good 1/6 or 1/7 of the fee being paid to the professional auditing firm yearly depending on how much the City is being charged by the firm that year.  I’m guessing it’s dependent on how complicated the finances are in a given year.

Anyway, it is time to take a good hard look at this particular elected position to see if it’s even necessary anymore and who better to call for an examination of the necessity of a position than the person holding that position.  Given that our current City Auditor has never suggested this, it appears it will take a new person in that role to ask for a hard examination of the possible redundancy of this charter position.


  1. So the real question is, can the oversight of the external auditing firm be handled by professional staff for less than 25k and the cost of an election. Seems to me that it’s pretty cheap. What other expenses should we include in the CBA?

    Comment by Matt Parker — August 8, 2016 @ 9:17 am

  2. I’d rather have Kearney keeping the outsourced auditing honest then have someone who’s not an auditor pretend he is and eliminate the position. It’s not like were talking big bucks in savings here.

    Comment by jack — August 8, 2016 @ 9:37 am

    • Why not add this task to the elected Treasurer position? Or require the city Finance Director to do?

      Comment by gaylon — August 8, 2016 @ 6:39 pm

      • Because pigs can’t fly.

        Comment by jack — August 8, 2016 @ 6:52 pm

      • I think that’s the question. Is there capacity to manage the external auditor (it does require some time and attention) and can that be done w/ existing staff/resources, or are special skills required. There are basically three options:

        1. bring it under existing staff w/ existing capacity and skills (annual savings 25K)
        2. bring it under existing staff but add capacity (presumably + 1 FTE, which would exceed 25K)
        3. Keep it under part time elected official (no cost reduction, maintain ~25K spend)

        Comment by Matt Parker — August 8, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

  3. Why is a part time employee getting full benefits?

    Comment by dc — August 8, 2016 @ 12:39 pm

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