These responses were submitted by Robert Fazzini, the Democratic candidate for McLean County auditor. See more candidates responses.
Why do you want to serve as McLean County’s auditor?
To change the system for choosing and compensating the Auditor by letting the public decide whether the Auditor should be an elected and politically partisan position or be an appointed and non partisan position.
What would be your top priorities if elected/re-elected?
- Repair the reputation of the Auditor with the twenty county board elected officials.
- Repair the reputation of the Auditor with the 25 other department heads.
- Convince the county board members to support a referendum to let the public decide whether the McLean County Auditor should be elected or appointed.
What would be your approach to strengthening or improving the working relationship between the auditor’s office and other county officials and staff over the next four years?
I would develop a positive relationship by showing a respect for each county board elected official by attending every county board meeting and every finance committee meeting to better understand what each body is attempting to accomplish. I would meet individually with each elected county board official to discuss my proposal to initiate a referendum for the public to decide whether or not the Auditor should be elected or appointed.
At the same time I would meet with every one of the other 25 department heads to explain my concept of how the Auditor role should be performed to safeguard county assets while cooperating with each department to help them achieve their goals.
What specific professional experience do you have that would qualify you to serve as a “watchdog” for McLean County taxpayers?
One the one hand I have been on the receiving end of being audited as a bank executive in charge of cooperating with outside auditors and then implementing audit findings with a large Chicago bank, a community bank in Rochelle, Illinois, and two community banks in Bloomington, Illinois. I have had similar experiences as President of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and the McLean County Museum of History; the Treasurer of the local Chapter of Girl Scouts; President of the Multi Cultural Leadership Council; and Bloomington City Council Alderman for Ward 8.
On the other hand I assisted the London audit team of Continental Illinois National Bank of Chicago in its two week audit of its Vienna branch in Austria; I participated in an audit of the American Bankers' School to review the accreditation of the Iowa City Bankers School, and I led the audit team in its review of the Kansas Bankers School (each was a full week live in type audit).
Should the Auditor’s position continue to be full-time, elected, and partisan? Why or why not?
Current salary of $100,324 should be closer to $75,000, and that has finally been addressed for the second time. The first time was in 2017 when three of the four employees in the Auditor's office were transferred to the Treasurer office. At that time the Finance Committee voted to reduce the Auditor salary to $75,324, but the County Board instead voted to increase the Auditor's salary (perplexing). I proposed my recommendation to reduce the Auditor salary to $75,000 at the April, 2020 Finance Committee meeting open to the public. In the May, 2020 Finance Committee meeting it was proposed and voted to reduce the Auditor salary to $80,600 starting in 2021 and leaving it at that level for four years.
I believe the Auditor should be an independent function not tied to a political party. Currently 85 of the 102 Illinois counties appoint their Auditor. Therefore, I will be proposing that a referendum for the public to decide whether the Auditor position should be elected or appointed.
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