PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The future of the Peoria County Auditor’s office could soon be in the hands of voters.
Tuesday afternoon, the Peoria County Board executive committee voted to place a referendum on the ballot this November. The referendum would decide whether or not to eliminate the county auditor position.
Before the move is finalized it must be approved by the full County Board in August.
Vice Chairman of the board Jim Fennell said getting rid of the auditor position would save the county around $150,000 dollars.
Fennell said the county’s finance department has the ability to replicate the same reports as the auditor. He said eliminating the auditor role would improve efficiency without sacrificing services.
“With the technology that we have today, we’re doing the same reports right off of the checkbook,” Fennell said. “We have an outside auditor come in and do audits within our system, we’ve been recognized as being outstanding,” he added.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Thomas sent out a release stating in 2018 voters rejected a referendum on the primary ballot that would’ve eliminated the County Auditor’s office.
“Historically the Peoria County Board has tried to eliminate financial oversight by the auditor’s office since the 90s. Now, they want to ask the voters again to give up their rights and power because they didn’t like the decision the voters made in 2018. I really want to encourage voters to not give up. This office belongs to you. And to know that this is not a cost-saving proposal. Four years ago, County government stated eliminating this office would not save money. Eliminating the internal audit function of an organization can cost the taxpayers thousands, maybe even millions in unchecked waste, fraud and egregious misappropriation. Urge your County Board member to respect your vote and your right to have an elected County Auditor`s office.” says Thomas.
If the referendum is approved and passed, the auditor position would end after Thomas finishes her term.