Public will get say on auditor-treasurer change

Le Sueur County Commissioners are gathering public feedback on whether to move forward with changing the position of auditor-treasurer from an elected position to an appointed position.

            A public hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the county courthouse in Le Center to gather input on the proposal. 

            The current auditor-treasurer is Pam Simonette, and her office is responsible for all county funds and cash assets, and handles all funds received and paid out by the county. The position requires her to be the deputy registrar for the county and administer the License Center which provides vehicle registrations, licenses and ID cards. Payroll, inventory of fixed assets, bank account reconciliations, escrow of tax payments, and many other duties also fall under her job description. As it stands now, the position will be up for election in November, 2014.

            One reason for changing the position to being appointed is to prevent someone with no qualifications from being elected to the post that manages all of the money for the county. To make the change, County Administrator Darrell Pettis said Le Sueur County would need to hold a special election or get state legislative approval. At this time, if the board decides to move forward, Pettis said they are leaning toward legislative approval as it would be substantially cheaper than holding a special election.

            However, before anything is decided, the commissioners will take into account what their constituents have to say at Tuesday’s hearing. If it does come to a vote, they will need to pass a resolution with at least 4-1 in support of the change.