Union County treasurer won’t seek reelection
Incumbent Union County Treasurer Darren Bailey said this week that he will not seek reelection in 2018. Bailey is serving in his second term as county treasurer.
Bailey issued the following statement on Tuesday, Oct. 10, about his decision:
“Today it is with great pride in the work done and great excitement about the future that I am announcing that I will not seek a third term as Union County Treasurer.
“Being a young man as a first-time candidate, I always knew I would likely serve just two terms.
“For one, I knew that my professional career was just starting. Also, I feel strongly that it is always important to have new perspectives and new ideas running our government. I’m excited to see what this change will mean both for the office and for me.
“My parents instilled in all three of their children that those with opportunity have a responsibility to change their world.
“With so many rural communities suffering from the ‘brain drain’ phenomenon, it will forever be a highlight of my life that I was able to stay in my community and make such a positive impact on the lives of the people I care about the most.
“I thank the people of Union County for their belief, support and trust in me.”
Bailey highlighted some of the accomplishments of which he is most particularly proud during his time in office:
Directly engineering over $6.5 million in savings to date for the taxpayers of Union County (representing roughly $375,000 for every 1,000 residents).
Exposing the inefficiency of the previous liability insurance program, preventing the issuance of $3.8 million in new bonds, which led directly to a reduction in tax rates in 2016, and means the county will be debt-free (besides courthouse bonds paid directly by sales tax revenues) in 2026.
Helping to lead the search for the new liability insurance plan which saves more than $500,000 annually.
Composing a three-year plan to eliminate the inherited $515,000 inter-fund loan obligation, then outperforming that plan by retiring the debt in under two years.
Developing a reserve fund balance strategy, the first known in county history, which amassed nearly $1.5 million in its first two years of existence.
Successfully designing and implementing a real-time, cloud-based accounting software system which is fully functional from any device that can access the internet, replacing the paper ledger system which was still in use upon my arrival in 2010.
Saving approximately $651,000 in wages and benefits in the treasurer’s office to date while simultaneously raising staff performance and professionalism.
Reducing operating expenses of the treasurer’s office by nearly 50 percent in the first year alone.
Operating within a fiscal year 2018 treasurer’s office budget which will be $20,000 less than that of fiscal year 2010.
Architecting a fund accounting system which consolidated funds into fewer accounts, eliminating the county’s cash flow concerns for the foreseeable future.
Designing and implementing a new accounts payable system which requires invoices and receipts for all payments (these documents are attached digitally to each transaction in the accounting software).
Saving tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of labor annually by privatizing the printing, stuffing and mailing of tax bills.
Reducing number of checking accounts from 86 to 32, with eight more designated for closure in 2018.
Working with the other tax-related departments to tighten the property tax schedule, resulting in more timely disbursements of tax revenues to local schools.
Developing new metrics, reports and graphics which have been made available to the public to better inform the county residents and decision-makers about where their tax dollars go.
Helping to design a website that provides complete real estate tax information and allows for online payments.
Starting the trustee program, which clears the forfeited tax rolls and puts unpaid parcels back in the possession of tax-paying owners, resulting in more real estate tax revenues for our governments and schools.
Drafting the new Hotel Operators’ Occupancy Tax (“Hotel/Motel”) ordinance and adjoining policy which established a council of stakeholders to directly influence the spending of those tax revenues.
Identifying and addressing numerous additional operational inefficiencies throughout the government (including centralizing postage and office equipment), saving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Co-authoring the plan that saw Union County improve from a failing grade to earning the sixth-best transparency score in downstate Illinois, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.
“More than anything else, I am proud of the professionalism and passion with which my office continues to work to provide the best possible future for the people of Union County,” Bailey stated.
“I have had the good fortune to have the help and support of friends, family, and staff, and to have worked during an era when the Union County government enjoyed a unique collection of talent which has righted the ship and set a course for future success.
“The stage is set for further accomplishments in the coming years, and I look forward to enjoying them as I engage in my own new challenges.”