Treasurer closing Rock Island office

Andy Brownfield

Fulfilling one of his campaign promises, newly-inaugurated Republican Treasurer Dan Rutherford on Tuesday announced he'll close the treasurer's six satellite offices.

"I see them as a total inefficient use of state assets," Rutherford said. "We're looking to highlight even more so what I could call the 'virtual office,'" including access through the Internet and telephone.

"All of the services the state treasurer provides in the satellite offices can be done in another way," he said.

The six offices, in Mount Vernon, Effingham, Rockford, Rock Island, Riverdale and Collinsville, each employ one staff member. Rutherford said that one position is being eliminated, and he will make a decision on the other five in the next 30 days.

Rutherford said if there were other areas in his office where those employees could be used, he would transfer them there.

The treasurer said he didn't know how much closing the offices would save. Four of the six are in state-owned buildings the treasurer doesn't pay rent for, and the other two are in donated office space.

Rutherford's Democratic opponent during the election, Robin Kelly, campaigned on keeping the satellite offices open. Kelly argued that the offices had saved the state money and helped spread the treasurer's message throughout the state.

"The cost savings are going to be negligible; I've said that the entire time," Rutherford said. "I think it is exactly what the public of Illinois is looking for -- if you don't have to have six satellite offices that are taking up space ... then why are we doing that?"

Andy Brownfield can be reached at (217) 782-3095.