BY World's Editorial Writers
Saturday, October 24, 2009
10/24/09 at 3:42 AM
The job of city auditor is not the most high profile post in city government. It often goes unnoticed until something goes wrong. More often than not, when the auditor doesn't make headlines he is doing a good job.
For the last 21 years, Phil Wood has done a good job. The city ought to appreciate all he has done. But it is time for a change in the auditor's office. We believe that Republican Preston L. Doerflinger is the agent for that change.
Doerflinger, 37, has more than 14 years of management experience and runs successful businesses in the city and statewide. In those businesses he has learned the importance of making sure money is spent wisely and offices run correctly.
If a proposed charter change is approved Nov. 10, in the next election cycle the city auditor will be required to be either a certified public accountant or a certified internal auditor. Doerflinger is in the process of becoming a CIA now. The new ordinance does not affect this election.
Again, Wood has done an overall good job in the office, but the recent dispute with the firefighters is evidence that a change is needed. Earlier this year Wood asked the Tulsa Fire Department employees about allegedly falsifying training records. The firefighters refused to answer a questionnaire from the auditor. Wood's decision to simply drop the audit at that point is unacceptable.
An ordinance recently passed by the City Council requires all city employees to answer questions from the auditor's office. That will help but it will take an auditor with the energy and will to follow through to make this issue and others come to satisfactory conclusions.
Doerflinger says that he has no ax to grind and no "gotcha" politics to play. Alhough he believes that there is money to be saved through thorough auditing, he does not subscribe to the theory that "cutting the waste" is the answer to all of the city's problems.
The auditor is one of only two citywide elections, the mayor being the other.
Tulsa needs an internal auditor, not an eternal auditor. Preston Doerflinger has the energy, the vision and the qualifications to get the job of auditor done. Tulsans would be wise to elect him on Nov. 10.