Laura Wallett: Candidate Profile
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: South Elgin
Office sought: Kane Auditor
Family: Married 22 years, two children
Education: Student Masters in Business Administration, WIU Graduated Magna Cum Laude Western Intl University Bachelors in Accounting Wilbur Wright Jr. College Associates in Science (Accounting)
Civic involvement: Treasurer of Robin Glen HOA (South Elgin) Treasurer for Geneva Women in Business (Geneva) Elgin township precinct committeemen Kane County Republican Women's Organization
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond.
Key Issue 1
Campaign Issue One- Modernization
It is the responsibility of the auditor to safeguard the county's assets.
In order to determine that assets are properly accounted for, the auditor conducts audits of the equipment owned including financial assets.
The auditor's office is in need of modernization that can provide a more thorough check and balance.
An enhanced system of inventory and asset tracking can monitor items purchased with taxpayer dollars more efficiently.
This can be achieved by enhancing existing accounting software.
The auditor is tasked with retaining all county contracts.
Automating contract retention by using an electronic archival system will allow this task to be done in a more efficient and reliable manner.
The archival system can also be available on the auditor website to enable public access to this system.
Key Issue 2
Campaign Issue Two- Improving Government Operations
The auditor performs independent internal audits of county departments to identify ways of providing taxpayers with better services and improved controls at less cost. The auditor identifies wasteful practices and weak control procedures, and recommends corrective action.
After taking office I would initiate the following:
Purchasing procedures need to be streamlined to make them less cumbersome and encourage participation across departments to save money.
Examine special funds that are running at deficit spending and make recommendations on how to prevent them from becoming a burden on the taxpayers in the future.
Specifically the court security, animal control, and circuit clerk funds.
Establish standardized audit routines that focus on efficiency to reduce spending while preserving effectiveness.
Increase involvement of the auditor in the assessment of the needs of the judiciary and clerk's office regarding computer system to avoid waste and ensure compliance.
Key Issue 3
Campaign Issue Three- Government Transparency
In an effort to enhance county government transparency and assist county residents in locating various county data within the county's website, I want to enhance the auditor's webpage by implementing an Auditor's Transparency Portal.
This tool will provide easy access to county data, by allowing access to all data from the auditor's webpage.
The page would be expanded to allow for search queries to run specific reports as needed.
The public can use this tool to see exactly where every penny is going quicker and easier.
One of the items the auditor looks at is whether or not county board members have filled out their economic interest statements. Do you believe as auditor you can or should also review whether or not any conflicts of interest are contained in those statem
The auditor can verify that economic interest statements are filed by appropriate individuals.
If there is question regarding the content of the statements it would be referred to the states attorney's office for a legal determination.
This is not a finance function and the states attorney's office would be the appropriate party to determine if conflicts of interest exist.
How do you resolve the ongoing debate over the county board setting budgets for departments run by other elected officials whom the county board has no control over? How should the county board enforce the budgets it sets'
The county board sets the budget. The auditor is tasked with reporting to the board how much of their budget officials have used on a periodic basis.
If elected officials go over budget they must go to the finance committee to ask for additional funding.
The county board addresses the issue.
The auditor can assist the elected officials in staying within their budgets by performing efficiency and performance audits.
These specialized audits can help officials identify areas of inefficiency or waste to achieve cost savings.
These audits will assist them in staying within their budget perimeters.
The goal is to get them to live within their means.
How would you go about improving government transparency?
Kane County has received A+ grading by the Sunshine Review and independent rating agency for its transparency.
Currently the county checkbook, contracts and all budget and financial information is posted on the website.
This is a great start.
I want to expand by implementing the Auditor's Transparency Portal, a tool that will provide easy access to county data, by keeping it in one place on the auditor's webpage.
The webpage would be expanded to allow for search queries to run specific reports as needed.
The taxpayers can use this tool to see exactly where every penny is going quicker and easier.
Access to information empowers every citizen to hold government officials accountable.
Do you believe the county board members and chairman should receive health insurance and pension benefits'
I do not feel it is appropriate for part time officials to receive such benefits.
In a time where we need to do more with less we need to look at this policy.
Do you support a more stringent ethics ordinance for Kane County governing the conduct of elected officials and county employees' Why or why not? If so, what should the ordinance contain?
The county board is charged with setting the ethics ordinance for the county board and those offices reporting to the board.
Elected officials are governed by the internal control statute.
There is an ethics advisor appointed by the chairman to investigate potential ethic violations.
If violations seem to have merit they are referred by the ethics advisor to the states attorney's office.
The auditor does not include ethics violations in their audit scope as it is not finance related.
As auditor I will voluntarily hold my office to the same, if not higher, ethical standards that the county board eventually passes.
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