County Officially Seeks Auditor

Barnes County will begin advertising for the vacant position of County Auditor effective today.

Normally an elected position, the chosen candidate for the job will be appointed for a term that will expire on March 31, 2015. Elections for the position will be held in November, 2014.

“Any Joe Blow could run for this office, but we have the opportunity to be a little more selective, and that doesn’t mean in two years they’re still going to have that job,” said Commissioner Cindy Schwehr.

The auditor’s seat was vacated by Edward McGough, who had held the position for 26 years. McGough said some recent health troubles that have been ongoing for over a year were keeping him from fulfilling the duties of the office. An open house retirement party will held for McGough from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Barnes County Courthouse on Friday.

The county auditor holds the position of the county’s chief financial officer, election officer and secretary to the county commission. The ideal candidate would have a bachelor’s degree with major coursework in business, accounting, financial management or experience in those or related fields.

Commissioners Schwehr, Eldred Knutson and Rodger Berntson said they were not excited about the interviewing process they were going to be taking part in.

“I still get nightmares,” said Berntson, talking about a past appointment process. “We looked into a background check a few years ago and a dishonorable discharge from the military was confidential, that cannot be discussed, and I can’t live with that decision. I think that’s absolutely wrong.”

Knutson, a veteran, said there is public information available for such cases, but details are not always available.

The county will be advertising the position through the North Dakota Association of Counties, Job Service, the Times Record, and five other state and local newspapers. Resumes can be sent to States Attorney’s office at the Barnes County Courthouse.