Rob Sand talks about an auditor job at Rock Rapids | News

ROCK RAPIDS – Rob Sand holds a political position as a Democrat but said Monday, June 6, during a layover in Rock Rapids, that he doesn’t care much about partisan politics.

“What we need is less policy, I think, and more public service. That’s what we’re missing a lot in our system,” said the 39-year-old state auditor while chatting with Larry Holland, a resident of Rock Rapids in Westside Park.

Besides the representative of the local media, the 74-year-old Holland was the only member of the public in the Republican district who came to listen to Sand during the auditor’s visit in Lyon County.

Sand, who was elected in 2018 and sworn in in 2019, is vying for re-election as the state government’s top observer this fall.

Talk about what his office does and list its three main functions:

  • Financial condition audits.
  • Public corruption investigations.
  • Enhance efficiency.

While the first two jobs are about exposing financial wrongdoing in government, Sand said the third is about encouraging public entities to use money in a positive way and “and improving things at a systemic level.”

To this end, the Sand office created the Public Innovations and Competencies (PIE) program in 2019 that is designed to reduce waste and save taxpayers money. The program also provides local leaders with tools to collaborate and share their cost-cutting ideas — which Sand called “PIE recipes” — on the country’s auditor’s website.

“If anyone comes up with an idea in Rock Rapids or Lyon County that saves a bunch of money, we want to hear about it so we can put it into the program and share it with the rest of the state,” Sand said.

The PIE program went from around 300 participants in its first year to over 500 in its second year. Sand said the Mississippi auditor was inspired by the program and repeated it there.

Sand also promoted the investigative work his office accomplished in his first term. He noted that during that time she had uncovered about $25 million in wrongly spent government money — a record sum for a first-term auditor.

He spoke of the impartial nature of his work, noting how his office is digging into potential wrongdoing by Republicans and Democrats alike.

He said he “can’t stand the idea of ​​partisanship” and that the Supreme Leadership Committee in his office is made up of a Republican, a Democrat, and an independent. Although some members of his team donated to his Republican opponent in the 2018 election, Sand kept them in jobs rather than firing them for political reasons.

The auditor also expressed frustration with members of the Iowa legislature for the way they support or oppose bills based on partisan interests rather than how the bills would benefit the public.

One example he cited is a bill he supports that would require jail time for people who steal large amounts of taxpayer money.

Most people think this is a good idea. However, it didn’t become law, even though I’ve been lobbying for it for three years because the legislature would rather continue to let people go out on probation than do anything that makes it sound like the Democrat had a good idea,” Sand said.

Regarding his political orientation, Sand said when he first registered as a voter years ago, he did so as an independent. He switched to the Democratic Party so that he could participate in the primaries.

“I was like, OK, OK, I’m going to pick poison.” He said.

Sand pointed to Alaska’s Statute as a better electoral model, because that state allows independent voters to participate. The vote itself includes a ballot ranked by choice, which means that Republican, Democratic, and nonpartisan candidates are on the same primary ticket. The first four vote holders then advance to the general election.

Holland said he liked what the auditor had to say about his political expectations and that he appreciated what Sand was doing. Holland moved to Rock Rapids about five years ago after previously living in Howard, SD, where he worked for 42 years as a teacher.

Like Sand, he has expressed frustration with the polarization of political discourse and how it leads lawmakers to neglect solving major problems.

“Life is too short to be this crazy of everyone. I’m sorry I’m old. I have a bad heart, a bad leg and everything bad. That’s ridiculous,” Holland said. . And I love being in church with them. “

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