BLOOMINGTON — For the second time in two years, Green Party candidate Benjamin Pettie and Republican incumbent Michelle Anderson will face off in a bid for the McLean County auditor’s position.
The election is Nov. 6.
This will be Pettie’s fourth attempt for the job. Anderson, appointed to the post in 2009 after the retirement of former Auditor Jackie Dozier, beat Pettie in the November 2010 election.
Pettie, 56, 1501 E. Washington St., Bloomington, a certified public accountant, said it’s his mission to “try and give the citizens in McLean County the best government money can buy” — something he says the office isn’t doing.
Pettie wants to play an active role in the McLean County Board’s decision-making by providing members with the pros and cons of potential expenditures.
“The idea is to get ahead of the expenditures before the board makes a decision,” Pettie said. “I’ll be a lobbyist for the taxpayer. I’ll lobby the board on alternatives.”
He believes the eastside highway is a “waste of money” and wants the county to have an “effective tool” for determining merit raises.
Anderson, 32, of 2000 N. Linden St., Normal, a graduate of Illinois State University with a double major of accounting and business teacher education, worked in the auditor’s office for two years before her appointment.
She said the auditor doesn’t have the statutory authority to require the board to go through the auditor’s office before making a decision on expenses. Instead, she said, the auditor is the “financial watchdog” for the budget adopted by the board.
Since Anderson has been auditor, she has reduced her department’s budget by absorbing the duties of two vacant positions.
“In the last three years, I’ve done more with less,” she said.
The office prepares information for audits, rather than outsourcing the work, and changed its software so it is easier for other departments to access their budgets.
Anderson said she now is looking at making electronic payments, rather than issuing paper checks, for employees and vendors.
In addition, she has increased information on her department’s website, including a financial report of the county, several years of the county’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and reports of county board committees.
County departments submit bills to the auditor’s office. When bills are approved for payment, they are reported to the oversight committees for approval.