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McLean County Board Places Auditor Referendum On Ballot

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 17:43:53 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

The McLean County Board has voted to place a referendum on the fall ballot asking voters whether to do away with an elected County Auditor.The head of the Auditor's Association spoke to the board saying one of the key reasons to keep the post elected is to prevent pressure from county administrators and other elected officials. County Board member Eric Rankin calls the "independence" argument disingenuous saying current appointed county officials have recourse.

Rankin argues that appointing the post also would allow professional job qualifications to be required. Those who opposed placing the referendum on the ballot such as Board Member Bill Caisley say it is a solution in search of a problem.

There are only 17 elected county auditors in the state. Most counties have appointed positions. Board Member Laurie Wollrab says there are good arguments on both sides.

It is unclear whether eliminating the office and making the position an appointed one would save much money. That would depend on the new duties with the office of County Administrator. The issue has been percolating since at least 2011, though it has come to a head recently as Auditor Michelle Anderson attracted unfavorable publicity for office purchases. Her office has won awards for transparency and reporting.

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