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County’s reasons for scrapping audit panel are lame
I’ve been following the Jeffco audit issue for several months now, and after reading your recent article “Commissioners scrap county audit panel,” I thought it would be a good time to add my two cents.
As a former internal auditor for US West, I understand the value in efficiencies and cost savings an auditor can bring to the table. Auditing is a very valuable asset that can confirm compliance, collect data, analyze data, present findings and make recommendations as to how any discrepancies may be cared for. The audit process could identify and address missing or out-of-date business processes, inadequate or missing report structures (you cannot manage what you cannot measure), and possible fraud. All of which can result in needless and sometimes excessive tax expenditures.
In February of this year, I applied for a voluntary position for a vacancy on the Jeffco Financial Oversight Committee. Unfortunately, I did not get the position I’m certain it would have been a challenging and rewarding position to have. From what I can gather, there are a lot of other highly qualified professionals who are willing to donate their time and expertise to making our county a stellar example of what we can achieve.
I fail to see the rationale behind the commissioners’ lame reasons to scrap the audit panel. Although the commissioners claim to have county accountants reviewing external audits, one can only wonder what marching orders are given to external auditors.
Assuredly, external auditors will do only what they are hired to do, and audit findings will generally go only to whoever commissioned the audit. Also, I find it curious that Faye Griffin does not even know “what they are doing.”
It’s a shame that our county commissioners will not take the opportunity to utilize free services from some very talented professionals to audit county business.
Lawrence E. Barnes

Witwer’s take on freedom skewed
Editor: In a recent column, Rob Witwer asks whether freedom or government came first. Like his conservative brethren, he supposes that freedom and government are diametric opposites. Here at home do we not have both freedom and government? Perhaps what Mr. Witwer means by freedom is advantage? Advantage did precede government, and advantage motivated the necessity of government.
The biggest, baddest caveman was honored for his prowess in the hunt and no doubt had his choice of the best morsels and the fairest cave-lady. But if he ate too much and took too many liberties, the lesser cave folk together brought him down. Similarly, the cave folk together organized collective efforts to drive horrible heffelumps over the cliff. Here began the essence of government: regulation of undue advantage plus collective effort for long-term goals.
Regulation to prevent clear-cutting of the redwoods, deep-sea drilling without blowout preventers, vintners putting antifreeze in the wine, dirty meatpacking plants, unsafe automobiles, serial killers … but also collective efforts for long-term medical research, flood control, exploration of space, scientific research, scholarships, and on and on. These are our real freedoms!
Lindrith Cordell