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McLean County Auditor Candidate Emphasizes Collegiality

Charlie Schlenker
GOP McLean County Auditor candidate Trisha Malott emphasized collaboration and training over enforcement as key themes in her campaign.

McLean County Republican auditor candidate Trisha Malott said she wants to build relationships between the auditor's office and other county office holders and department heads.

Malott said she would work to educate other county staff on financial reporting requirements. Malott is running in the primary against incumbent Michelle Anderson. Malott said communication and training are important.

"In the event that something was submitted improperly or that additional documentation is needed, I think there are ways to go about that where it can still build or maintain relationships rather than destroy them," said Malott.

The current auditor has clashed with several county leaders over time. Auditor Michelle Anderson also stopped responding to WGLT efforts to arrange a joint interview with Malott.

Malott said she wants to reach out to county departments and office holders to find out what they don't know about financial reporting requirements.

"I think part of it is a training piece. I think we hire people and appoint people, or elect them with good intentions. I think it is oftentimes a matter of an honest mistake or that sometimes the rules have changed," said Malott.

She said the auditor's position works with all departments in the county and needs to work closely with the treasurer.

“I think it is important to be able to offer something different,” Malott said. “When there is increased collaboration and transparency, then there’s also efficiency. The more efficient any part of government can be, that’s also better for the citizens and the taxpayers.”

“This is a position that intersects with all departments and needs to work closely with the treasurer,” Malott said. “I think that skill set to be able to work with virtually anyone, to be able to communicate with them, to demonstrate respect, and to help people understand when they don’t necessarily know the right answer for that compliance piece is a huge part of the position and I think those are skills that I bring to the table and that I’ve also demonstrated through my work with the county.”

The winner of the March 17 GOP primary will face Democrat candidate and former Bloomington City Council member Rob Fazzini and Libertarian Kevin Woodard in November. Fazzini has proposed elimination of the elected position of auditor. Malott said the while that issue is one for voters, she asked why she would have run for the office if she did not feel it should be an elected position.

“The auditor’s position is an elected one in 16 counties in the state of Illinois and has to do with population size,” Malott said. “But most counties, regardless of how it is structured, have someone who has the role of auditor regardless of their title because it is an important function.”

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Darnysha Mitchell is an Illinois State University student and reporting and social media intern at WGLT.
WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.