SEPTEMBER 03, 2008
- The Modesto City Council on Tuesday hired its own “watchdog.”
- The council appointed Frank DeMattos as its first independent city auditor. DeMattos, a Beyer High School graduate, lives in Modesto and works for Stockton as its senior deputy city auditor.
- Measure M, a government reform package voters passed in February, required the council to hire an auditor. In the past, the auditor has worked in the city clerk’s office.
- DeMattos will leave his Stockton post and start work for Modesto later this month. He will earn $96,200 a year. He said the city needs an auditor because it is becoming increasingly complex as it grows.
- Modesto’s last experience with an in-house auditor did not go well. A previous council in 2010 terminated the contract with that city auditor after he had been on the job for just 18 months because he had not uncovered enough inefficiencies.
JUNE 18, 2017
- The division on the Modesto City Council was on full display last week as council members spent nearly two hours discussing whether to replace the consulting firm that serves as the city auditor with an in-house auditor at twice the cost.
- Mayor Ted Brandvold wants to remove Moss Adams — the Seattle-based certified public accounting and business consulting firm that has worked for the city since 2011 — with an auditor who would be a city employee.
- His proposal would cost Modesto $367,756 in its upcoming budget year, which starts July 1. That includes hiring an auditor and a staff person to help the auditor and $100,000 for consulting services. Modesto allocated $181,493 in its current budget for Moss Adams.
- Moss Adams does not perform the city’s financial audits but focuses on efficiency studies, performance reviews and similar matters.
- Brandvold’s proposal has the support of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, Chuck Bryant — who helped Brandvold get elected in February 2016 and served as chairman of his 100-day budget review committee — and the Stanislaus Taxpayers Association.
- STA President Dave Thomas told council members that they need an auditor who is directly reportable to them and will work full-time on their behalf and not on the special projects of the city’s bureaucracy. He added that was the intent when Modesto amended its city charter roughly a decade ago to create the position.