maple leaves
Autumn leaves.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

In November, my family, like many others, celebrates Thanksgiving. As we reflect on all we have to be thankful for, my family also takes time to remember that, for many indigenous people in our county and across the U.S., Thanksgiving is a day that commemorates painful loss caused by people who look like my family. And while acknowledging this reality is important, it is equally important that we move beyond mere acknowledgement.

All of us in Multnomah County live, work, and play on the traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who have made their homes along the Columbia River. This Thanksgiving, I invite you to reflect on your own history and what brought you to Multnomah County, and to learn more about the history of colonization and genocide of the indigenous people of this land. Understanding this history and our place in it is an important part of working toward the empowerment of all people, and it helps create the foundation for building relationships across communities based on the shared values of gratitude, generosity, equity, and community. 

We have much to be grateful for, and much work to do. Read on to learn more about the work my office has done this month.



Salary Commission Appointments

I've appointed three new members to the 2020 Salary Commission. The Salary Commission determines the salaries of county elected officials, except for mine. (The Auditor’s salary is based on a portion of a circuit court judge’s salary.) 

To my knowledge, this was the first time the Auditor’s Office had an open, countywide recruitment for new Salary Commissioners. The applicants were exceptional, and I’m excited to welcome our new Commissioners. Like our returning Commission members, these community members have rich experience in compensation practices and a dedication to serving their county: 


Koffi Dessou

Jennifer Martinez

LeAnna Rappleyea

Returning members: 

Heather Pedersen

Elizabeth Nunes

Audit Education

Earlier this month, Principal Auditor Caroline Zavitkovski spoke to a data analysis class for Masters of Public Administration students at Portland State University about careers in government performance auditing and about how data analysis is applicable to our field. This is part of our effort to educate community members about our work and inspire those interested in public service to consider a career in auditing. Thank you, Caroline, for sharing your wisdom and experience!

Upcoming Audit Presentations

We have two upcoming audit presentations to the Board of County Commissioners:

Mental Health Services: Tuesday, December 3

Clinical Services, focused on primary health care clinics: Thursday, December 19

You are welcome to attend these presentations, watch them live or view them later.