There are few more important jobs in state government than the auditor general.
Democrats and Republicans in Springfield don't agree on much, but one thing they do appear to agree on — so far unanimously — is that William Holland deserves another term in office.
Holland is the state's auditor general, the individual appointed to a 10-year term to look into the dark corners of state government and see how public officials and bureaucrats spend taxpayer dollars. The auditor general and his investigators review financial records, compliance with federal and state laws and regulations and program performance. Readers won't be surprised to learn that Holland & Co. have uncovered a boatload of abuse of public funds over the past 10 years.
The Illinois House this week unanimously approved Holland's bid for a third term, and the Senate is expected to follow suit. He was recommended by members of the Legislative Audit Commission after they interviewed numerous applicants for the job.
State Rep. Sandra Pihos, a Republican from Glen Ellyn, said of both the auditor general's post and Holland that "it's the one thing we can look to and say Illinois has done right."
Of course, the auditor general's office has done such great work (it averages about 150 audits of state agencies per year) because state officials have done so many bad things. No doubt, they will continue to do bad things, making it all the more important that Holland and others like him continue their good work.
Illinois has been quite fortunate in its choice of auditors general. First there was Robert Cronson, a dogged investigator who ultimately burned out on the job. Now there is Holland, a former legislative aide to former Democratic Senate President Phil Rock who abandoned a partisan post to become one of the state's good cops.
It's good news for taxpayers that Holland hasn't lost his appetite for his work. If this state ever is to be repaired, taxpayers need people like Holland to tell them where things are going wrong.