Members of the Belleville City Council are pondering whether the city needs a treasurer. In a move proposed by one candidate in the upcoming mayoral election, the possibility of eliminating the job may be put to voters. Tonight, a committee will discuss the merits of placing a referendum on the November 6 ballot. The city council could then consider its recommendation.
Alderman Phil Elmore is running for mayor, and a fellow alderman, Dean Hardt is running for treasurer. If elected they say at the very least they would look into how the treasurer's office could be absorbed to save money. They point to other Illinois communities that have successfully combined the treasurer and finance director's offices. The current treasurer earns about $72,000 annually, excluding benefits, and manages eight employees. He called the proposal a skillful political move by the two candidates. Mayor Mark Eckert says he would like a public hearing on the topic, and there is not enough time before the coming election for that to happen.