County Auditor Candidate
What is the importance of the County Auditor to residents in Champaign County?
The County Auditor has two main functions, which both impact the county resident financially. The first is that of comptroller: the Auditor is responsible for the accurate and timely reporting of the county’s financial position and performance. These reports come on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Dependable statements give all economic players confidence in making decisions. Businesses rely on them to invest, banks on whether to loan and employers on whether to hire.
Why are you qualified to be the County Auditor?
I bring Certified Public Accounting experience and true independence, both absolutely critical attributes for an auditor, especially now, when we 1) have back-to-back budget deficits and 2) have not yet produced last year’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
What is a key policy difference between you and your Opponent?
We differ on the financial position of the county, and thus on whether to take an active approach to the auditor’s office. At the September 14 Candidate Forum, I cited our county’s published budget projections of successive budget deficits and the depletion of the general fund, while my opponent insisted that the budget is balanced. I pointed out that this was done by counting on contingent revenues (not a proper accounting approach.) The 2018 budget was balanced--on paper--by optimistically forecasting the receipt of property taxes from hospitals. Five days later, Illinois Supreme Court ruled to keep the hospitals tax exempt, as the News-Gazette reported:
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter in Champaign County?
Local government, by its very nature, has the most direct impact on your life. As a voter, you have a greater impact such races (i.e., you are more likely to cast the deciding vote; the last auditor’s race was decided by a mere 36 votes!) The Auditor is a position well defined by its mission. It demands professionalism and a minimum of politics. I was honored to have the endorsement of the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, and I hope to have yours as well!