Washington residents have been well served by the state auditor’s office, which regularly checks the financial operations of schools, cities, counties and state agencies.
Democrat Brian Sonntag, a proven leader, deserves re-election as auditor.
Sonntag faces Republican Richard McEntee, a retired business executive. McEntee’s background would give him a solid understanding of financial issues in carrying out the auditor’s duties.
Sonntag, however, has demonstrated steady, even-handed leadership as state auditor over the past eight years. He is widely respected by elected leaders of both parties for conducting checks into governments that are objective and free of partisanship. His office has proven itself capable of frank assessments of poor financial controls in governments and school districts around the state. Without such honest and reliable performance by Sonntag and his office, the public would have good reason for even greater distrust of government.
He has gone well beyond good performance with his consistent willingness to defend the public’s right to know about its elected leaders. Sonntag is one public official who accepts both the spirit and the letter of the state’s Open Meetings Act. That’s particularly needed at a time when many councils and boards seek to expand the dodges they use to shut the public out of its own business.
When voters spoke loudly about accountability through last year’s Initiative 695, Sonntag stepped forward with a positive response that accepted the public’s message well. He tried to persuade the Legislature to create an Alliance for Accountability to bring business expertise to use in making government more efficient. Legislators wouldn’t quite bite this year but they would do well to accept the idea next session, when Sonntag plans to try again.
The public has a fine auditor in Brian Sonntag. We need him back leading an excellent work force in the auditor’s office for another four years.
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