There’s a new city auditor in town. Jennifer Sims, a local forensic accountant, will take on the job of conducting audits of all kinds of facets of the city government.
The Bremerton City Council approved her hiring at their regular Wednesday meeting.
“I thought it would be challenging work,” Sims told me last week, adding later: “Maybe I can help to save Bremerton some money.”
Sims takes over for Gary Nystul, the former auditor of more than a decade, who quit following the City Council’s decision to reduce the role from 40 hours a week to 16.
Sims, 55, has a small forensic accounting firm she runs from her home west of Bremerton. She has two decades of experience “calculating economic damages in litigation and insurance, with an emphasis on lost profits/business interruption, construction damages, lost rents, personal injury wage losses, and economic losses resulting from fraud,” according to her LinkedIn profile. She also worked as an internal auditor for the state of Alaska.
“She has an extensive resume, and strong and broad experience to bring to the role,” said Leslie Daugs, the Bremerton City Councilwoman who serves as chair of the city’s audit committee and who oversaw her hiring.
The reduction of hours was not a problem for Sims, who will also remain in private practice.
The position had gotten a lot of attention from Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and the City Council in recent years. Here’s why, from the article I wrote about Nystul’s retirement:
Nystul, also a Poulsbo City Councilman, has served in the position since 2003. In recent years, his position was increasingly scrutinized by Mayor Patty Lent and some members of the City Council, who felt that the position was outdated and that outside organizations could perform more specialized and productive audits.
The auditor is unique in the state and within the city’s government. Called for by the city’s charter, the auditor does not answer to the mayor or council but to a five-person committee — two council members, two city residents and a certified public accountant. They alone have the power to set the auditor’s agenda and hire or fire one.
For more about the position, click here. I will be interested to find out what the new auditor decides to pursue first.