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Sun Gazette: Hope measure on Arlington auditor clears House of Delegates Print

Created:  Wednesday, February 11, 2015 7:30AM


The House of Delegates on Feb. 10 unanimously approved a measure that would allow – but not require – County Board members to appoint an auditor who would report directly to them, rather than through the county manager.

The bill, introduced by Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th), then moved over to the state Senate. If enacted, it would apply only to Arlington, not other jurisdictions in the commonwealth.

Arlington's current form of government allows the County Board to hire and fire only three people: the county manager, county attorney and clerk to the board. All other government employees report up the chain of command to County Manager Barbara Donnellan.

Hope said the bill would give Arlington officials the option to create an auditor reporting to the board, but would not mandate that they use it.

The measure to give the County Board authority over an auditor was supported by, among others, the Arlington County Civic Federation and the Arlington County Taxpayers Association. County Board members John Vihstadt, Libby Garvey and Jay Fisette also supported the measure.

The question of an auditor could become an issue in the upcoming Democratic primary for County Board. The first announced candidate, Katie Cristol, has signaled her support for one.