9 months ago by Bob Gough
Candidate for City Treasurer says the treasurer can oversee that office and save $70,000 annually
Republican candidate for Quincy treasurer Tom Ernst said he wants to eliminate the comptroller's position and have the treasurer take a more active role in the City's budgeting process.
At a Wednesday morning news conference, Ernst said the move would save the city $70,000 in the comptroller's salary and benefit package.
City Comptroller Ann Scott is also serving as the city's purchasing director. The City elminated the director of purchasing position when it offered an early retirement incentive in 2009.
Ernst also said he would like to look into allowing online bill pay for all city services.
Democrat Peggy Crim is the current city treasurer. She says the cost of online bill paying has decreased from $100,000 to $22,000, but she still thinks that is cost-prohibitive.
"I think the $22,000 could be better spent on streets or something," Crim said. "I just don't know if it is that cost-effective."
Crim said people can pay their water bills through an automatic deduction from their bank accounts.
She also opposes the elimination of the comptroller's position.
"I think the people of Dixon, Illinois wish they would have more than one person in charge of both functions when their comptroller stole $53 million," Crim said. "Eliminating the position saves about 2/10th of 1 percent of the budget. You're going to risk internal checks and balances."
EDITOR'S NOTE: The elimination of the purchasing director was a permanent move and not an interim one as was stated in an earlier version of this report.