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Masterpole, Jordan seek office for Onondaga County Comptroller

Democrat Marty Masterpole, left, and Republican Casey Jordan are both seeking election for Onondaga County Comptroller.
martyforcomptroller.com, caseyforcomptroller.com
Democrat Marty Masterpole, left, and Republican Casey Jordan are both seeking election for Onondaga County Comptroller.

Voters will choose Onondaga County’s fiscal watchdog on Election Day.

It’s one of four county-wide races on the ballot on Election Day, Democrat Marty Masterpole is the incumbent in the office that keeps track of county spending.

"We are pretty much auditing everything that goes out the door to make sure that it lives within the rules of how it's supposed to be spent," Masterpole said.

Republican Casey Jordan of Clay, is making a run at Masterpole’s job because of a lack of satisfaction.

"I mean, I've never wanted to go to negative campaigning, but just I guess lack of satisfaction with the activities of the office now," Jordan said.

The race comes down in a way, to a perception of what the role of a comptroller is. For Masterpole, it’s looking at the numbers and passing the information on to the public.

"I'd rather be like Joe Friday, 'just the facts, ma'am', and give you the facts, and let the viewer, the reader, the listener, and let you draw your own conclusion based on factual information we're providing," Masterpole said.

Jordan believes the comptroller should be more visible and aggressive, with more comment on the fiscal issues facing the community.

"Being sort of an independent set of eyes and sort of financial watchdog for the taxpayers," Jordan said. "I think it's certainly worthwhile for the the comptroller to kind of weigh in on programs and initiatives that are being proposed by you know, by the legislature and the executive office."

The other point of contention between the two candidates, just how many audits are enough. Masterpole’s audit numbers are not as high as some earlier comptrollers. But he suggests many of those audits were minor. He said his style is to take a deep look at spending without pressure to come up with a certain number of audits a year.

"But in the whole scheme of thing does it matter," Masterpole said. "I mean is it if you're at nine or fifteen Wouldn’t you rather have nine accurate ones than fifteen lousy ones?"

Jordan disagrees.

"I think it's as critical that we are instituting, you know, as many audits per year as possible and having them on a rotating schedule, so that over a period of time we'll have audited all the different departments," Jordan said.

Masterpole left a job as the city of Syracuse auditor to become the first Democrat elected comptroller in Onondaga County history when he won the job in 2019. Jordan, an attorney, served for 14 years in the county legislature before taking a job in the county law department two years ago.

Early voting begins October 28. Election Day is November 7.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.