The McLean County Board Executive Committee is recommending a referendum whether to eliminate the elected County Auditor should go on the fall ballot. The move comes with the context of controversy over Auditor Michelle Anderson's unauthorized purchase of art using thosands of taxpayer dollars. Board Member Bill Caisley says that looks like retaliation.
Caisley went on to defend the Auditor's operation as award winning and transparent. Other Board members including Ben Owens note the issue first came up years before the current flap, when debate happened over eliminating the County Recorder of Deeds.
Supporters of a referendum including Jim Soeldner argue the office does not make policy and there are no professional requirements for election. They also say appointing the job inside of the County Administrator's office would allow the county to eliminate one support staff person.
Sally Rudolph of the McLean County League of Women Voters says they would be "very much excited to see the issue on the ballot" and the league has had that position since the 1970s when a referendum failed to eliminate the elected Auditor, Recorder of Deeds, and Coroner. This time around those in favor of fewer elected positions are taking the offices one at a time. The full County Board will decide later this month whether to place a referendum on the November ballot. County Board Member Eric Rankin notes there has been little appetite so far to create a referendum to do away with an elected Coroner and give the duties to a Medical Examiner. Voters in the last election cycle approved a similar referendum combining the Recorder of Deeds and County Clerk's functions into one office.
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