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When there was no democratic candidate on the ballot during the spring primary, there was possibility for incumbent Steve Weber to have an uncontested Will County Treasurer’s race. Then, Joliet resident Tim Brophy accepted a nomination as a candidate.
Now, voters will have a choice to make on Nov. 6.
In recent interview with The Mokena Messenger, the two candidates outlined their priorities, qualifications for the position and ideas about how the office should be run, if either is to be elected.
Mokena resident Steve Weber said he chose to run for the office of treasurer again because of the progress and results he has had so far in the position.
“Because I’m getting such great results, I wanted to do it one more time,” he said. “All the improvements I’ve made. I want to make it easier for taxpayers to pay [and] lower the fees. Most elected officials raise the fees.“
Weber, who previously served as auditor, said working in financial offices is something he is good at and has been able to save the county money and bring in additional revenue through interest from investments.
“I come in under budget every year,” Weber said. “In the first year I took that office as treasurer, I returned $240,000 in operating budget that I didn’t need.”
In addition to eliminating overtime and reducing absenteeism through the implementation of a work week with four, 10-hour days instead of the traditional five-day work week, he said it has provided his staff with work-life balance they enjoy.
“[Being] fiscally responsible also means we purchased our conference table on Craigslist, used,” Weber said. “We didn’t need a new piece of furniture.”
If reelected, Weber said he plans to continue providing a friendly environment geared toward helping taxpayers as much as he can by reducing fees for credit card payments and allowing people to schedule payment throughout the year.”
He said his license as a certified public accountant is an important attribute for the treasurer to have and makes him good at investing funds to benefit the county and community.
“You can trust me because [CPA’s are] the most trusted profession and I was the watchdog, the auditor, prior to this,” Weber said. “I’ve got banking experience. I used to investigate people wasting government resources or stealing, so you can trust me.”
Brophy, who served on the Joliet City Council for 16 years, said his background and financial experience make him a great candidate for treasurer.
“I’ve had a public service calling my whole life,” Brophy said. “I was raised in a family that values volunteering and community service.”
As treasurer, Brophy said he would be the “eyes and ears and voice” of the office, as he believes the framers of the Illinois Constitution intended.
“Fiscal responsibility means doing the right thing when nobody’s looking,” Brophy said, “And a lot of bureaucrats, a lot of government employees have much to say about how other people’s money is spent without necessarily daily or constant oversight.”
If elected, he said it is important to him to conduct a review of where the county currently invests its money.
“I think [it’s] important that there’s an objective public body, maybe an advisory group, that evaluates the opportunities that there are for investing county funds and objectively decides on applying those or awarding bids based on best practices and not on favoritism or familiarity or campaign contributions,”
Brophy has experience in the banking industry and has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He currently works as an executive manager of a nonprofit organization.
While serving on the Joliet City Council, Brophy said he chaired multiple committees, including those for land-use and finance, as well as the communications, technology and information systems committee.
“I think that you have to have the capacity to understand everything that’s going on in the office. I certainly do,” he said. “...I’ve also worked on several major projects that involved millions of dollars of investments. So that experience with public funds and the direction of public funds is one of those critical traits and one that I
When dealing with a large amount of public funds, Brophy said trustworthiness is an important trait to have, and said his work in leadership and volunteering can speak to his character.