Laura Doud hosts open house to celebrate 100 years of city auditors

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by E. Medosch
Staff Writer

On Tuesday, November 18, Long Beach City Auditor Laura opened the 8th floor office in City Hall to the public to celebrate 100 years of service by elected Long Beach auditors.
One auditor in particular stands out, according to research by Doud’s staff. Doud has dedicated a special conference room to Myrtelle Gunsul, who served as city auditor for 32 years– from 1919 to 1951. She was the first women elected to office in Long Beach and is its longest-running elected official.

“In 1908,” Doud told a standing-room-only audience, “the people of Long Beach decided that they wanted to have an elected official in place that would protect the taxpayers’ interest. In 1919, even before women could vote, the people elected Myrtelle Gunsul as city auditor. She never married, never had children, but her life was spent in service to this public trust.” Gunsul ran for re-election ten times before retiring in 1951.
At the open house event, historical research that had been gathered by a volunteer member of Doud’s staff was available for people to view. Newspaper clippings, old photos and other memorabilia were on display. The search for Gunsul’s heirs was done via the Internet and turned up a great-niece, who was able to supply some further background information. Gunsul was known for her meticulous work and her motto– “Efficiency, not politics.”
Doud also wanted the public to know what the Long Beach City Auditor’s office does. The auditor is one that serves the public by carefully overseeing the financial transactions and trends within the city budgets and prevents fraud, waste and abuse of city resources. “I think all the people who have held this office for the past 100 years have done it for the right reasons– to be of service to the taxpayers and to report them on how public funds are spent,” Doud said. Tributes from senators Alan Lowenthal and Jenny Oropeza, from Congresswoman Laura Richardson, from newly elected State Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal and other local legislators were presented to Doud and her staff.
Doud was elected in 2006 after defeating incumbent Gary Burroughs, who had held the office for 14 years. She is a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner who holds a law degree. Visit www.cityauditorlauradoud.com to learn more about the history and current work of this office and about Doud and her staff.

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Long Beach City Auditor Laura Doud explains to a visiting group the history and responsibilities of her position.

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