Vote Jenny Wong for Berkeley city auditor

CITY AFFAIRS: In the upcoming November election, Berkeley voters will elect a new city auditor. Here's our take.

The city auditor plays an integral role in holding city government accountable and presenting Berkeley residents with a report of how well the government is performing. Jenny Wong is the most — and only — qualified candidate for the job.

A Berkeley resident for the last 24 years, Wong has a strong understanding of the Berkeley community’s needs. While she hasn’t held public office before, she has spent countless hours speaking with residents and has a plethora of experience in auditor positions.

Wong has been an auditor for the independent federal Government Accountability Office for the past 18 years. She has managed the training of thousands of auditors across the country, and her audits have resulted in more than $3 billion in savings. Wong would bring her years of experience and vast knowledge of auditing to serve Berkeley residents.

In her interview with The Daily Californian’s editorial board, Wong said she was concerned that currently, the recommendations from the city auditor are not easily accessible — an issue she plans to address, if elected, in order to increase transparency. Wong also said she intends to prioritize her audits based on what the city’s residents believe is valuable, emphasizing her desire to receive community feedback on the auditor’s office.

The only other candidate running for city auditor, Vladislav Davidzon, declined to meet with The Daily Californian’s editorial board. But Davidzon’s shortcomings are clear from his candidate statement: He has no experience as an auditor and fails to have even a basic comprehension of the role. Davidzon has suggested that he would refuse to sign city checks and contracts if he didn’t believe taxpayers were getting the maximum benefit, which is not something the auditor has the capacity to do, unless the check in question is fraudulent or erroneous.

Wong has received many endorsements by high-profile community members, including every member of Berkeley City Council and the current auditor, Ann-Marie Hogan. The Alameda County Democratic Party has also endorsed her campaign. It’s clear that Wong is the only choice for Berkeley’s next auditor.

Vote Jenny Wong for city auditor.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

A previous version of this editorial misspelled Vladislav Davidzon’s name.