Steve March not tempted by opening in city job.

Multnomah County Auditor Steve March says he’ll seek re-election to his post next May, and isn’t tempted to run for Portland city auditor now that LaVonne Griffin-Valade has declared she won’t seek re-election to that post.

Though Griffin-Valade jumped from county auditor to city auditor — following a well-trod path of politicians moving from Multnomah County positions to Portland City Hall — March says he doesn’t exactly see the city job as a promotion.

“If you really like audits, it’s really not the job you’d want to be in,” March says.

The city auditor oversees a host of functions unrelated to auditing, including elections, the hearings office, archives, the council clerk, assessments and the ombudsman. It’s actually Drummond Kahn who oversees the audit function under Griffin-Valade, March says.

At the county, he says, “I’m intimately involved with every audit.”

March began serving in the post in June 2009, after Griffin-Valade departed mid-term. He was elected to a full term in 2010. Under the county charter’s term limits provisions, this would be has last term, should he win re-election next year.

March previously served three terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, and earlier served as an auditor and staffer for Multnomah County.

March says he’s proudest of small tweaks that can have a sizable cumulative impact on county operations, such as a cell phone audit that saved $330,000 the first year and $365,000 the second year.

He also released a report on the county conflicts of interest policy. “That one I think people should have re-read,” he says, a reference to the affair County Chair Jeff Cogen had with former county health manager Sonia Manhas.

Among four planned audits coming out in the next two months is one on employee overtime, which will look at the use of overtime in the Sheriff’s Office and in corrections, among other county units.

“That is going to be a surprise to people, so stay tuned,” he says.

The filing period to run for the May election starts Thursday, Sept. 12.

Mary Hull Caballero, a performance auditor at Metro, has announced she’ll run for Portland city auditor.

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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