Terry Hunt: Candidate Profile

Kane County Auditor

  • Terry Hunt, running for Kane County Auditor

    Terry Hunt, running for Kane County Auditor

Updated 2/5/2016 10:31 AM

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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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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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City: • Sugar Grove, IL

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Website: www.ElectTerryHunt.org

Office sought: Kane County Auditor

Kane County Auditor Age: 63

Family: • Marty (Martha) and I have been married for 40 years. Our daughter Sarah is married to Sean Herron, and we have two grandchildren.

Occupation: County auditor

Education: • Education and degrees? Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting Major, Finance Minor -- University of Evansville (Dean's List)

Civic involvement: • My whole family has served many years as volunteers at Equine Dreams -- a therapeutic riding center that provides a variety of individually developed programs at no cost to Fox Valley area clients with special needs. We also volunteer at the Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove. I coached girls' basketball at Hinckley-Big Rock High School for five years, as well as AAU and NAYB basketball for many years. I have sponsored a variety of area youth sports programs in soccer, softball, baseball and basketball, the Hinckley-Big Rock FFA, and many horse shows at the Big Rock Plowing Match.


Elected offices held: • Previous elective and appointed offices?

I was elected Kane County Auditor in 2012. I have also been an elected Precinct Committeeman since 2008. I am the elected Treasurer of both the Kane County Republican Central Committee and the Western Kane County Republican Organization. I served as an appointed Trustee for the Village of Big Rock where I chaired the Audit Committee. I resigned from the position prior to my inauguration as Kane County Auditor to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

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

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?

Simply put, there is more work to be done. I want to continue to develop my Office as a resource for the County Board. I enjoy the challenge of meeting increasingly higher demands from the public for financial information while operating my Office within my budget.

If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us about important initiatives you've led. If you are not an incumbent, tell us what contributions you would make.

My main contributions are focused on enhancing Kane County's financial transparency, accountability and accessibility. There have been several initiatives developed or improved during my first term. Kane County OpenGov is the project that has generated the most excitement, by making previously unavailable financial information accessible to the public in a user friendly format. I am very proud of the work my Office has put into this project and the results we have already accomplished. However, Kane County OpenGov also offers the most untapped potential for additional development, and I am excited about those possibilities. The Editorial Board of the Daily Herald recognized this initiative with a very positive review when we first launched it in June 2015. There are other projects that my Office has developed and/or improved as well. Working in conjunction with our IT Department we have completely upgraded and updated the County Auditor's website where we publish the County Auditor's Quarterly Financial Reports, a variety of internal audit reports, and other informational projects. We have increased both the quality and quantity of internal audit reports, and made them available online to the public. My Office has conducted county-wide risk assessments of all County offices and departments to enhance and document internal controls. We have also created an interim status report documenting actions on audit recommendations to enhance accountability. Everything we do in my Office is intended to create a higher level of transparency, accountability and accessibility.

List any relations (including those related to you by marriage, and nieces/nephews) who are on the public payroll in Illinois, their jobs and who they work for.

My son-in-law Sean Herron is an elementary school teacher in the Kaneland School system.

What special qualifications does a county auditor need that may not apply to other county offices?

Because the staff and operating budget of the Kane County Auditor is much lower than that of any other county office, it has been critical for me to allocate those resources effectively.

What professional qualifications or experiences do you possess that will help ensure your success as auditor?

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Evansville, where I was on the Dean's List. I majored in Accounting and minored in Finance. I have over 40 years of experience in auditing and accounting. Professionally, I was the Controller and Chief Financial Officer for a multi-state industrial company owned by a UK-based parent for 14 years. Prior to that I worked for 3 years at a regional CPA firm. I have owned and operated my own business for over 25 years. My auditing and accounting experience covers that entire period of time, during which I have performed audits of manufacturing and retail businesses, governmental entities and bank examinations. I have prepared both personal and business financial statements, as well as state and federal tax returns. Since being elected Kane County Auditor I have completed continuing professional education classes specifically chosen to further enhance the operation of my Office. By the end of my first term, I will have earned over 100 CPE credit hours.

To what extent must an auditor remain independent of other county offices and officials, and how will you ensure the appropriate level of independence in this office?

The County Auditor must be able to effectively balance independence and cooperation in order to be successful. The tenets of my own campaign slogan are -- Integrity, Independence, and Innovation. The home page of my campaign website emphasizes that "I work with the County Chairman, the County Board, Countywide elected officials and department heads, but I work for the citizens of Kane County." I believe that I have successfully maintained an appropriate level of independence with a combination of common sense, open communications with all stakeholders, and objective input and feedback from my staff to provide perspective to the operations of my Office. I will continue to do so.

Describe your position regarding the allocation of resources in the auditor's office. Are personnel allocated as they should be?

The resources of the Kane County Auditor's Office are far and away the smallest of any countywide elected official -- both in terms of personnel and operational budget. Acknowledging that resources are limited, but that the public also deserves outstanding service does require innovation. I inherited a staff of two full time employees (only one of whom had a college degree). Turnover due to retirement and an internal transfer provided me with an opportunity to hire two highly qualified, college educated, staff members with auditing and accounting experience -- without increasing the budget. Then, with the approval of the County Board, I added one part time staff member to perform some of the clerical functions allowing the Deputy Auditor more time to focus on audit assignments, and making the office more effective in the process.

Are there capital expense or other budgetary items that the office must address, and, if so, how do you propose to address them

There is very little capital spent in my Office. In my first three years as County Auditor we have spent a little over $10,000 in capital combined, and there is no capital for my office in the 2016 budget. During that time we have operated under budget each year.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you?

Joe Madden, the manager of the Chicago Cubs.

What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

Always tell the truth.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

I have been incredibly blessed with a wonderful family and group of friends. My personal faith allows me to rely on God for all the really important decisions in my life. His plan is better than anything I could imagine, so I have no need for a "do-over".

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Dick Webb taught US History and was my favorite high school teacher. History provides perspective and a basis for comparison, both of which have applications outside the classroom.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Always let your children know that they are greatly loved.