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Palo Alto launches search for new city auditor

City Council to interview candidates from Baker Tilly before considering other options

The Palo Alto City Council is giving the firm Baker Tilly USA a chance to appoint a replacement for the city auditor role. Embarcadero Media file photo.

Palo Alto's search for a new city auditor will begin with the same firm that supplied the last one, the City Council decided on Monday night.

Kyle O'Rourke, principal at Baker Tilly US, resigned from the firm on Aug. 15, 2022. In his role, he had served as city auditor for Palo Alto. Courtesy city of Palo Alto.

The council is looking for a new city auditor after Kyle O'Rourke resigned from the position on Aug. 15. O'Rourke, a principal at the consulting firm Baker Tilly USA, was hired in 2020 after the council voted to eliminate all positions in the city auditor's office and outsource what has traditionally been an in-house function.

O'Rourke's resignation left Palo Alto with no one in the city auditor role, which is one of just four City Hall positions that are appointed directly by the council. On Monday, council members agreed that rather than recruit other firms, they will give Baker Tilly a chance to appoint a replacement.

By a unanimous vote, the council agreed to ask Baker Tilly to make up to three individuals available for interviews to become the city's interim city auditor. The Council Appointed Officers Committee will conduct the interviews and forward its recommendation to the full council, which would then decide on next steps.

Council members generally agreed that Baker Tilly has performed well since the council hired the firm to fill the auditing function. Over the past two years, the firm has scrutinized the city's building-permit process, its procurement of energy contracts, its partnerships with nonprofit groups and the construction of the public safety building.

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"We were sorry to see that we're not going to have Mr. O'Rourke available to us any longer," Mayor Pat Burt said during the Monday discussion.

Council member Greg Tanaka also said he was pleased with Baker Tilly's performance and suggested that the firm should be given a chance to present other candidates who could fill the city auditor's role.

"That's something that as we evaluate our choices we should look at," Tanaka said. "If we find something who's appropriate to interface with, we stay with them."

In May, the council voted to extend its contract with Baker Tilly until 2025, though the agreement gives it the right to terminate the deal with a 10-day notice. The city pays $708,750 per year for the firm's audit services.

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Gennady Sheyner
 
Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

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Palo Alto launches search for new city auditor

City Council to interview candidates from Baker Tilly before considering other options

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Aug 24, 2022, 9:20 am

Palo Alto's search for a new city auditor will begin with the same firm that supplied the last one, the City Council decided on Monday night.

The council is looking for a new city auditor after Kyle O'Rourke resigned from the position on Aug. 15. O'Rourke, a principal at the consulting firm Baker Tilly USA, was hired in 2020 after the council voted to eliminate all positions in the city auditor's office and outsource what has traditionally been an in-house function.

O'Rourke's resignation left Palo Alto with no one in the city auditor role, which is one of just four City Hall positions that are appointed directly by the council. On Monday, council members agreed that rather than recruit other firms, they will give Baker Tilly a chance to appoint a replacement.

By a unanimous vote, the council agreed to ask Baker Tilly to make up to three individuals available for interviews to become the city's interim city auditor. The Council Appointed Officers Committee will conduct the interviews and forward its recommendation to the full council, which would then decide on next steps.

Council members generally agreed that Baker Tilly has performed well since the council hired the firm to fill the auditing function. Over the past two years, the firm has scrutinized the city's building-permit process, its procurement of energy contracts, its partnerships with nonprofit groups and the construction of the public safety building.

"We were sorry to see that we're not going to have Mr. O'Rourke available to us any longer," Mayor Pat Burt said during the Monday discussion.

Council member Greg Tanaka also said he was pleased with Baker Tilly's performance and suggested that the firm should be given a chance to present other candidates who could fill the city auditor's role.

"That's something that as we evaluate our choices we should look at," Tanaka said. "If we find something who's appropriate to interface with, we stay with them."

In May, the council voted to extend its contract with Baker Tilly until 2025, though the agreement gives it the right to terminate the deal with a 10-day notice. The city pays $708,750 per year for the firm's audit services.

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