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There won't be a vote on eliminating the Tazewell County auditor position

Tazewell County plans to build an annex for its Justice Center to the north (right) of the current facility.
Steve Stein
The Tazewell County Board meets monthly in the Justice Center.

Tazewell County voters will not get an opportunity Nov. 5 to decide the fate of the county auditor position.

County board members voted 15-4 Wednesday to not put the question of eliminating the position on the ballot, instead allowing William Funkhouser, the only candidate running for auditor, to fill the post. Funkhouser defeated opponent Kaden Nelms in the Republican primary election in March.

"Give me two years. If you're not happy with my work, I'll step down and help you come up with another option," Funkhouser said to the board before its vote.

Board chairman David Zimmerman said the ballot proposal was not a reflection on Funkhouser's credentials. Funkhouser is a certified public accountant and Bradley University faculty member.

"Bill is eminently qualified for this job," Zimmerman said. "We're just looking at the position."

Current county auditor and future board chair Brett Grimm [Zimmerman is not running for another term in November and Grimm is the lone candidate for the position] said he did not want the elimination question to be put on the ballot because of Funkhouser's qualifications to oversee the county's $67 million budget.

Board member Max Schneider said Funkhouser has a "perfect resume" for the job and having him on board will give the county "cheap insurance" for keeping its financial matters in order.

The ballot resolution would have read: "Shall Tazewell County eliminate the internal Office of County Auditor when Tazewell County already contracts an external Auditor as required by state law? This would be a cost savings of approximately $282,000 for the 4-year term."

A similar Tazewell County auditor elimination vote in 2018 failed decisively by a 2-1 margin.

Seven resolutions to eliminate the county auditor have appeared on ballots throughout the state since 2002. Just two passed: Kendall County in 2012 and Peoria County in 2022. A vote to eliminate the McLean County auditor will be on the November ballot.

Steve Stein is an award-winning news and sports writer and editor. Most recently, he covered Tazewell County communities for the Peoria Journal Star for 18 years.