Topinka perfect person to eliminate own office

17 Nov

Who: Judy Baar Topinka

Office: Illinois State Comptroller

Job Description: The comptroller maintains the state’s accounts and issues payments in and out; additionally the office regulates cemetery funding and maintenance. The office was created by the Illinois Constitution of 1970.

Personal: Topinka served as the first female Illinois State Treasurer. During her last term in office, she was the only elected statewide official from the Republican Party. She unsuccessfully ran against Rod Blagojevich for Illinois Governor in 2006.

Outlook: Topinka won the office over Democrat David Miller by a substantial margin (53-41). Topinka ran as a “heavy-duty fiscal officer” and will fight for fiscal discipline. She plans to do a better job staying on top of the state’s bill-paying process so that schools and service providers have some predictability about when and how much they’ll be paid. Her plans also include a new Web site to ensure transparency by allowing the public to see where money is being spent.

Look for Topinka to merge herself out of a job, following up on a campaign pledge to combine her comptroller office with that of the state treasurer’s. This has been long considered as a popular means to help downsize Illinois government and, in her, there is a person who has held both jobs.

Kevin Sherman

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