Endorsement: Hunt for another GOP bid for Kane County auditor
The Daily Herald Editorial Board Updated 2/19/2016 9:32 AM
Perhaps the harshest criticism one could level against the first term of Kane County Auditor Terry Hunt is that the auditor found himself caught up in the unseemly infighting over spending between the county board chairman and the county coroner. But even on that score — where Hunt held up payment of certain of the coroner’s bills while awaiting a ruling about whether they were appropriate — the auditor has a solid case that he was doing his job of keeping watch over the public’s money. That’s an important point in his bid for re-election, because challenger Craig Lee contends the expenses of Hunt’s office ballooned during his tenure and that the auditor monitors spending so lightly that the office is all but irrelevant. We don’t see it that way. Hunt’s office has seen an increase in its budget, set and supported by the county board, and it has used the increase to substantially modernize its operations and improve transparency about county spending. Indeed, Kane County residents have greater online access today than they’ve ever had thanks to the OpenGov initiative Hunt launched. Retired from a career in finance, Lee has a background well suited to the goals of a county auditor. But, with 40 years of high-level professional experience in auditing and accounting, so does Hunt, and he’s been doing the job well for four years. He’s earned the right to represent his party in the bid for another four.
Endorsement: Kane County Auditor (R): Hunt
Published: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 7:32 p.m. CST
Kane County auditor candidate Craig Lee is adamant he’s not a career politician and identifies that as a strength of his campaign. Incumbent Republican Terry Hunt brings a deeper political background, and his successes in increasing the transparency and accountability of Kane County government earn him the Kane County Chronicle’s endorsement in the March 15 Illinois primary. Hunt’s first term especially clicked when he delivered on a promise to publish the county’s checkbook online through the Kane County OpenGov platform www.kanecountyil.opengov.com. Hunt brought improvements to the office while working under a budget in flux. The Sugar Grove resident inherited a low budget and a staff of two fulltime workers, he said, but soon augmented the operation with a part-time employee while staying within readjusted budget parameters.
Lee, a seasoned businessman, has proposed eliminating the office of the auditor – potentially consolidating it with another county office – as a way to shrink government. Hunt reasons that the function of the office would not go away; he should know after fulfilling its duties so well.
By Editorial Board
MARCH 3, 2016, 11:50 AM
Here are the Tribune’s endorsements for contested countywide races in Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.
Kane County Auditor
Auditor: Republican incumbent Terry Hunt of Sugar Grove runs a tight office. He reports that he has cut expenses and come in under budget. He launched a user-friendly Web portal that allows taxpayers to view county financial documents and learn details about revenues, spending and other trends. He is endorsed over opponent Craig P. Lee of Geneva, a retired businessman.