Jamison: More qualified personnel

SANDY JAMISON, County auditor candidate (prefers Republican Party)

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When most people hear the term “auditor” they immediately think of an individual who inspects and verifies the accuracy of a company’s operational and/or financial records.

While this is the true definition of a financial auditor, in Whitman County the term “auditor” encompasses so much more.

The role of the Whitman County Auditor is to manage a variety of departments that serve the people of the county.

These areas of responsibility include voter registration, candidate filing, election balloting, document recording, vehicle and vessel licensing, marriage licenses, payroll functions, accounts payable functions and financial administration.

Several of the responsibilities noted are not financially or truly “audit” related. Yet, they are necessary and viable departments that must be managed within our county.

The lack of staffing is an issue within the auditor’s office, especially in the licensing and elections areas. Both of these departments require that credentialed and licensed personnel handle the day-to-day operations, yet it is extremely difficult to recruit and retain certified people.

Where and how do they become certified? There are training courses, online classes and seminars that one can attend, but no true college courses or degrees that offer the required knowledge.

In order to effectively train the county’s personnel in these two areas, one must go off-site, effectively reducing the number of available employees needed to operate the customer service front-line desks for our county patrons. There are times when the auditor’s office service desks are closed to the public because there are no certified personnel available.

While I have the financial, audit and accounting experience necessary to understand the financial functions of the auditor’s office, it is my goal to become certified and licensed in the non-financial areas, where necessary, so that I can best manage all of the departments under the auditor’s office umbrella.

It certainly won’t hurt to have another certified person help out in the licensing and elections areas and it would also enable other personnel to take the time off-site, as needed, to become certified. I don’t like having the service desks closed during normal working hours and I believe that having more trained and certified personnel will help this problem.

Voters have the right to expect an efficient auditor’s office, and it is my intent to honor that expectation.