Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Riverside County Auditor-Controller Seeks Re-Election

Robert Byrd is seeking re-election for a third term as Riverside County Auditor-Controller. He will kick of his campaign 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3 at the Riverside Marriott Hotel.

(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) As Auditor-Controller, Robert E. Byrd has paid Riverside County’s bills, audited the books and kept the county in the black for the last eight years.

With economic challenges like foreclosures, double-digit unemployment and lagging retail sales making that increasingly challenging, Byrd doesn’t see 2010 as a time to change course. He’s therefore running for a third term.

He will formally announce his candidacy at a reception 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3 at the Riverside Marriott Hotel, 3400 Market St., Riverside.

“My re-election is critical for the citizens of Riverside County,” Byrd said. “I have the experience to understand, integrity to do the right thing and vision needed to help us through this unprecedented fiscal crisis we are in. And I have identified opportunities to enhance the efficiency of this county.”

In 2002, Robert Byrd became the county’s elected Auditor-Controller with more votes cast than in the entire history of the office. In so doing, he was the California’s first African American elected to that office. He was subsequently re-elected to a second four-year term in June of 2006.

Byrd revolutionized the office of the county’s Auditor-Controller by restructuring it to provide optimum customer service while improving the quality and flow of information to the county’s management. He adds, “We refocused Riverside County’s audit function to not only serve its regulatory mandates, but also to facilitate more efficient and effective county operations, thus bringing fresh standards to the county’s processes and county cost savings.”

Byrd has improved service provided by the Auditor-Controller’s Office. Some of the ways he has done this are:

• Assisting parents who receive child support by collecting garnishments through the state’s automated system. This allows more efficient payments to the parents who receive support.

• Providing Property Tax Division reports through the Auditor-Controller’s website, www.auditorcontroller.org

• Developing a new property tax system through a partnership between the Office of the Auditor-Controller, Office of the Tax-Treasurer, and Office of the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder.

• Providing county employees immediate access to their W-2s and paycheck stubs via an electronic system

• Publishing County of Riverside Financial Highlights, an easy to read report summarizing the contents of County of Riverside Comprehensive Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2007-08.

The comprehensive report, 180 pages in length, contains detailed financial information, including financial statements, disclosure notes, supplemental schedules and statistical tables. The Highlights document, illustrated with colorful graphs and charts, shows how Riverside County spent money in the 2007-08 fiscal year (July 1 through June 30), including construction projects started that year.

• Establishing an Information Technology Division in the Auditor-Controller’s Office to keep the Office’s technology operating efficiently, so as to better provide information to all who are interested.

Byrd’s goals for the next four years include:

• Developing a method to pay vendors electronically, which will improve efficiency and internal control.

• Making additional improvement to the new property tax system, so the Office of the Auditor-Controller can efficiently track receipt and distribution of property tax revenue.

• Establishing a program that employees of county departments receiving audits will use to communicate electronically to the Office of the Auditor-Controller how they are resolving issues discovered during the audit.

• Establishing a method for county employees to sign up online for direct deposit, or to make changes to their records via online technology.

• Assisting and training Riverside County in better internal control and risk assessment methods.

• Continuing to offer management development programs to county employees.

Byrd sees his professional contributions as going beyond what’s expected of his office. He has been chair of the Riverside County Employee Campaign and Legislative Chair for the State Association of County Auditors. Additionally, Byrd has been a commissioner on the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission, and members of the Society of Municipal Finance Officers, the Government Finance Officer’s Association and the State Association of County Auditors.

Committed to his community, he’s a member of Riverside Rotary, board member of the Next of Kin Registry, is on the International Relations Council for Riverside and performs as Finance Chairperson for La Sierra Academy’s Board of Trustees.

Robert E. Byrd, CGFM, who is elected by the voters of Riverside County, heads the Office of the Auditor-Controller. The Auditor-Controller’s office is dedicated to providing sound financial accounting, auditing, and reporting in order to serve the citizens of Riverside County.

To RSVP for the reception or for more information, call Brenda Erickson at (909) 888-0017.