Although she's been Tazewell County auditor almost three years, Shelly Hranka said she still believes her office is unsettled.
But Hranka is much more certain she wants to keep at it.
"I feel like I've gotten things accomplished in the office," Hranka said recently. "I've got projects in the works, and I feel like I need to stay there definitely until they're done."
The 50-year-old Republican from Pekin is running in 2020 for a second four-year term. Hranka first was elected in 2016 to succeed Vicki Grashoff, a Democrat who retired after almost 20 years in office.
For most of her term, Hranka has been jousting verbally and in court with County Board Chairman David Zimmerman and others in regard to her job duties.
"Dave doesn't talk to me," Hranka said. "We haven't had a relationship form the very beginning."
Before Hranka was elected, the board modified the auditor’s duties and reduced staff and salary. A finance director was hired to help handle preparation of the county budget, which Grashoff had been overseeing.
Hranka contends the changes infringed on her ability to perform the auditor's statutory responsibilities, which have been open to dispute. She filed a lawsuit against the board, Zimmerman and State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz.
The lawsuit is pending, with another court hearing expected Sept. 19.
"I know everyone wants to talk about the lawsuit ... but I feel like I've gotten some small things done," Hranka said.
Among those things is a written outline of the daily operation of the office, and its best practices. Hranka also has undertaken audits of some county departments.
"It's been a struggle without having the staff, but I've done the best with what I could," Hranka said. "When the lawsuit is settled, I've got policies and procedures in place where we'll just flow right into having a full-functioning office."
Hranka has attracted a challenger in the GOP primary. Last week, former County Board member Brett Grimm declared his auditor candidacy.
Grimm was a board member when the auditor's duties were pruned.
"I'm not worried about Brett," Hranka said. "He wasn't in favor of the office. He was in favor of reducing the salary and the reduction in staff.
"I'm kind of surprised he's wanting to run for the office he wanted to help eliminate."