Editorials

A sincere change of Hardt

Well, it seems Belleville Treasurer Dean Hardt didn’t campaign on the promise to eliminate his job if elected, he now says he ran on the pledge to look into whether the job could be eliminated.

Hmmm. We remember all that very differently. We remember something more along the lines of he and mayoral candidate Phil Elmore campaigning on The Promise.

Be that as it may, after two years on the job Hardt has seen the light. The responsibilities are greater than he realized and he is now convinced that Belleville really does need an elected treasurer. A mayoral appointee or allowing the treasurer’s duties to be absorbed elsewhere are not viable, Hardt said from the perspective of a little experience.

Interesting that this revelation comes now, about the time a re-election campaign would be starting the creak and grind into motion.

We’ve not given up on the idea of finance functions being consolidated, maybe under the finance director or some other professional hired with council approval just like you’d find a city lawyer, finance director or planner. We’d be more comfortable if this were part of a city efficiency and cost-cutting study instead of being left to the opinion of those with something to lose or gain — kind of like term limits being a great idea until U.S. Rep. John Shimkus hits the mark.

Voters may yet have something to say about the Belleville treasurer question. We’ll see what they remember about campaign promises and the enlightenment of insider experience.

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