McHenry eliminates city treasurer position

McHENRY – Forget about running for city treasurer in the April election.

The City Council voted Monday to eliminate the position and assign treasurer duties to the city’s finance department, City Administrator Derik Morefield said.

The treasurer’s term expires in 2013.

Eliminating the position saves the treasurer’s annual stipend of $1,800.

“It might not seem like a lot, but every penny counts. And it helps to create more efficiencies,” Morefield said.

Treasurer Steve Murgatroyd was appointed by Mayor Sue Low after David Welter, the former treasurer, resigned in March 2010.

Welter, who was elected to the position multiple times, has been indicted in the theft of money from the McHenry Kiwanis Club. Welter was not charged with stealing money from the city and no irregularities with city finances were found, McHenry officials have said.

Low and the administration may meet in a few days to discuss how to absorb the treasurer’s duties. Defined duties are receiving money, depositing funds, keeping accounts and
records that show the financial status of the city and completing an annual report.

Typically those duties are handled by finance administrators in comparable municipalities, Morefield said.

Harvard is the only one in nine nearby municipalities with an elected treasurer, according to a survey that included Algonquin, Woodstock, Spring Grove and Huntley.

In 2011, McHenry voters rejected the notion of an appointed treasurer, saying in a referendum they preferred to elect the treasurer. McHenry’s home rule status, however, allows the council to amend city code and eliminate the elected office, City Attorney David McArdle said.

Alderman Andy Glab voted against eliminating the position.

“We sent out the question to the voters and it was a resounding ‘no,’ ” Glab said. “It irritates me that we’d totally deviate from what the people actually had said. [The referendum] failed 2-1 when the city took it to the people. Now, because we’re home rule, they’re saying we can do it. The way I look at it, the people had spoken.”

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