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updated: 2/10/2012 4:27 PM

Terry Hunt: Candidate Profile

Kane Auditor (Republican)

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  • Terry Hunt, running for Kane Auditor

      Terry Hunt, running for Kane Auditor

 

 

 

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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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Big Rock

Website: electterryhunt.com

Office sought: Kane Auditor

Age: 59

Family: Married for 36 years. My wife Marty and I have one daughter, Sarah.

Occupation: My entire professional career has been in the field of accounting. I worked 3 years for a CPA firm as an accountant and auditor, 14 years in the private sector as Controller and CFO, and continue to operate the small business I started 26 years ago.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting Major, Finance Minor from the University of Evansville, 1974

Civic involvement: I coached girls basketball at Hinckley-Big Rock HS for 5 years. My family and I have been involved as volunteers or sponsors with a variety of community projects such as Equine Dreams, Between Friends Food Pantry, Future Farmers of American, 4-H, and a number of youth sports programs.

Elected offices held: I was appointed as a Trustee for the Village of Big Rock in 2011. I have been an elected Precinct Committeeman since 2008.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

My campaign is based upon three qualities essential to performing the duties of the County Auditor.

Those are integrity, independence and innovation.

The public justifiably demands complete and unquestioned integrity from elected officials.

Bill Keck has set the "gold standard" for integrity as County Auditor, and I promise to continue to follow that example.

Key Issue 2

The County Auditor must also maintain complete independence in order to effectively serve the people.

While I look forward to working with the County Chairman and the County Board, I will not be working for them.

My responsibility is to the citizens of Kane County, and as County Auditor I promise that my ultimate accountability will always be to the public.

Key Issue 3

The County Auditor must also be innovative.

New technologies to process and analyze financial are developed almost daily.

The County Auditor must be able to adapt to those changes - implementing improvements, constantly evaluating new risks, and taking a proactive approach to safeguarding the assets and resources of the County.

Questions & Answers

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 County Auditor serves the public as a financial advocate in a variety of ways.

In addition to internal operational audits and the oversight of departmental internal controls, the County Auditor also evaluates where and how County money is spent.

I believe that a review of economic interest statements would be complementary to a strengthened Kane County Ethics Ordinance.

For example, in DuPage County, the Chairman and County Board Members must disclose their financial interests and holdings in any business seeking a relationship with the County where they have an ownership interest of 7 ?% or greater.

Establishing such a criteria would allow the County Auditor to make an independent and impartial review of the economic interest filings.

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 very fact that the county board does not have budgetary authority over every department means that the solution must come from the source of the authority.

In this case, Springfield.

Unfortunately, the County Auditor is not in a position to resolve either the debate or the problem itself.

The Auditor reviews budgetary performance, issues reports and makes recommendations to the Chairman and the Board.

I intend to take a collaborative approach to work with the Chairman, the Board, the Finance Director and other department heads to develop and implement improvements for making the budget easier to understand and to use as a financial resource.

The Auditor does not, however, have the authority to enforce the budget.

How would you go about improving government transparency?

Improving transparency and accountability must always be an ongoing priority. As a result, the comprehensive plan to make continual progress will come from a variety of components and on a changing timeline.

In the short term I have identified seven specific, targeted, achievable strategies that I believe can be implemented in a reasonable time and within the existing budget.

My goals are to (1) publish the County checkbook online in an easily accessible format, (2) audit the entire County's credit card system, (3) review and subsequently monitor every County contract (4) extend the positive pay policy throughout all departments, (5) enhance the risk assessment program to identify areas where increased operational audits are needed, (6) coordinate a fraud protection plan in conjunction with independent and impartial forensic accounting and (7) establish an audit hotline.

Do you believe the county board members and chairman should receive health insurance and pension benefits'

I believe that government needs to be managed more like a successful business.

In the private sector, part time jobs rarely provide health and pension benefits.

However, it seems to me that the chairman certainly performs a full time job.

A few board members apparently consider their positions as part time, and it aggravates me that they are afforded full time benefits.

Still, it is not possible to handle those individuals differently than the many board members who regularly attend meetings, serve on a number of committees, and devote considerably more time and effort to serving Kane County.

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?

I absolutely support the strongest possible ethics ordinance for Kane County.

The public deserves to have complete and total confidence that the elected officials and county employees working for them are completely beyond reproach.

I previously referenced the DuPage County Ethics Ordinance.

The Kane County Board has considered adopting a similar ordinance.

I am disappointed that, for any number of reasons, to date, they have been unable to agree on acceptable enforceable language.

However, it seems common sense to me that we should all at least agree on the same stated purpose for an ethics ordinance.

That being, it is the goal of the Kane County Board to guarantee fair, efficient, and honest government and to ensure the integrity and objectivity of its Chairman, County Board Members and employees.

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