The Tazewell County Board Ad-Hoc Review Committee presented a recommendation Wednesday afternoon to place a referendum on November’s election ballot that would make the county auditor an employee of the county board rather than an elected official.
The recommendation was made at a Tazewell County Board Executive Committee meeting.
According to Tazewell County Board Ad-Hoc Review Committee chairman Mike Harris, the body made its recommendation because the office of internal auditor is a valuable and vital component of Tazewell County’s government.
“We believe a minimum level of accounting knowledge and experience should be a prerequisite for such a vital position,” said Harris. “Due to the complexity of the position, we have decided to place on the ballot a measure to allow the voters to decide to replace the elected auditor’s position with an appointed accounting professional.”
Current Illinois state statutes do not require an elected auditor to possess accounting knowledge or experience, Harris added.
The Ad-Hoc Review Committee voted to make their recommendation to the Executive Committee on June 11. The decision has triggered some conflict between the Ad-Hoc Review Committee and Shelly Hranka, the current Tazewell County auditor, who believes the position should remain free of county board control.
“If the referendum goes on the ballot, the people of Tazewell County will decide if they want an elected auditor or not,” said Hranka. “As an elected auditor, I work for the people of Tazewell County and not the county board. This position they are trying to appoint would work for the county board.”
The Ad-Hoc Review Committee recommended the creation of a five-member Auditor Oversight Committee which would serve as the contact point for an appointed auditor. The appointed auditor could be dismissed only for cause.
Hranka added that if the measure passes, it would not take effect until after Dec. 1, 2020. The full Tazewell County Board will vote on the recommendation at 6 p.m. on June 27.