Published August 20, 2008
MacDonald on the performance audit that haunts him
Remember way back when State Auditor Brian Sonntag was trying to crank out his performance audit on traffic congestion and then-Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald was not taking it well, even going so far as to hire some one to deal with Sonntagís staff?"What a colossal waste of money, time and effort, and it's not constructive," Sonntag said in November 2006."I was not a happy camper. I really tangled with Sonntagís people early on," MacDonald said today.He said he didnít actually read Sonntagís audit on congestion until long after he left the department and got married. But he did recently, he said. "It's a very strong and itís technically competent.""Then I read the initiative, and there is no connection," he said, despite sponsor Tim Eymanís claims that his initiative is merely an attempt to write the audit into law. So heís campaigning against it.Eyman came in later and said Ė guess what Ė he is just trying to make the Legislature take the performance audit seriously. "Maybe these audit reports shouldn't just gather dust, maybe we should actually implement them," he said.There are few points of agreement, like synchronizing traffic lights was a recommendation of the audit, and that removing funding for public art projects was not.But what we have here are two sides that do not make a whole. Same is true of I-1029, the Service Employees International Unionís attempt to pass a failed bill on home care worker training by public vote. Itís going to take a while for us media types to sort through the conflicting claims, to the degree there is time to do that at all.