The primaries for the 2014 general election are right around the corner on Sept. 9 and one of the races up for grabs is the Democratic ticket for the state’s auditor of accounts position.
Republican Tom Wagner Jr. has been the state auditor for 25 years. Hoping to dethrone him are a pair of Democrats – attorney Brenda Mayrack and accountant Kenneth Matlusky.
Brenda Mayrack, of Wilmington, runs her own civil law practice that focuses on audit and audit defense cases. Mayrack is running because she thinks the office of the auditor is an extremely important job and believes it needs to be done better.
Mayrack said the auditor of accounts office has a really important job to do to maintain the safety of and value of tax payer dollars.
For Mayrack, there are three main issues that need to be addressed in this year’s elections regarding the auditor of accounts position: concerns with office staff, use of the office, and following through on changes.
Mayrack said the number of employees in the state auditor’s office since 1989 has dwindled from 57 to 14.
“The auditor can’t do the job they need to do without people,” Mayrack said. “Every state agency has been asked to do more with less but you get to a certain point that you’ve cut down too much.”
After getting the office staff concern resolved, Mayrack’s second priority is making sure the office is used in the right way and not for political attacks.
Finally, Mayrack said as state auditor she would do a better job of following through on fixing problems.
“If you file a report, you should make an effort to make sure the problems are fixed,” she said.
Wilmington resident Kenneth Matlusky is a certified public accountant who wants to make the auditor’s office the most respected and prestigious office in the state. His only concern is for the taxpayers of Delaware.
There are a few issues Matlusky wants to focus on, if he’s elected auditor, including protecting whistle blowers and being more proactive in solving problems.
Matlusky said the state whistle-blowers currently aren’t protected, and that the abuse of a state whistle-blower is the abuse of taxpayer dollars.
“The ability of state employees to freely report problems is essential to helping the state auditor’s office stop problems early before they grow into big scandals,” he said.
Secondly, Matlusky plans to be more proactive in solving problems.
Matlusky cited an incident from four years ago in which a finance officer at the Laurel School District stole $150,000. Matlusky said an audit should have been done comparing the individual’s employment contract to the payroll register, and the issue would’ve been solved before it got out of hand.