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City of Edwardsville asking voters to consolidate elected treasurer position

Duties would be transferred to director of finance

City of Edwardsville residents casting their ballots for Tuesday’s Consolidated Election will be asked whether the elected office of the city treasurer be discontinued and the powers and duties be transferred to the appointed office of city finance director.

“After our current city treasurer decided not to seek re-election to the office, “said City Administrator Kevin Head, “the Council wanted to take steps to ensure the city’s sound fiscal policy and management continued in the absence of Treasurer (Rich) Hampton. The city was quite fortunate to have benefited from the knowledge and expertise of Treasurer Hampton for more than 20 years, who also serves as the director of Financial Affairs at SIUE. We were sad to see him not seek re-election, we wish him the best in his next endeavors.”

“In May of 2020, the City separated the office of the city clerk from the office of the city collector, and developed a Department of Finance, bringing all financial duties and activities under a director of finance. After learning that 90 percent of municipal treasurers or finance directors are appointed and only 10 percent are elected, we felt consolidating the duties of the treasurer with the director of finance was the best way to ensure the sound fiscal management of the city’s treasury,” said Head.

The duties of the city treasurer are provided for by the Illinois Compiled Statutes. The treasurer is the custodian of all funds belonging to the municipality. The role is authorized to invest public funds as provided for by the statutes and must make a monthly report to the council.

As a Home Rule unit of government, the city may change its officers, their manner of selection and terms of office by submitting a referendum for consideration by the voters of the city. The city submitted such referendum question to the Madison County Clerk in November 2020. Should the referendum pass, the city will change its ordinances to remove the elected office of the city treasurer with the duties being transferred to the appointed city finance director. “We feel it is in the best interest of the residents to ensure the city’s treasury is managed by those with a background, education, and experience in municipal finance affairs,” said Head.

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