Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford had two items on his agenda Monday when he made a stop at the Morton Public Library as part of his tour around Tazewell County. He also made an appearance at Five Points Washington.


 

Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford had two items on his agenda Monday when he made a stop at the Morton Public Library as part of his tour around Tazewell County. He also made an appearance at Five Points Washington.

“I wanted to come to my senate district to say, ‘Thank you,’” Rutherford said. “I wanted to personally be back here in my communities and say I appreciate very much you letting me have the chance and the honor to serve you for the eight years you did as senator.”

Rutherford also wanted to introduce Sen. Shane Cultra, his successor in the 53rd district. Cultra accompanied Rutherford on the “Appreciation Tour” Monday, which also included stops in Eureka and El Paso.

Rutherford said Cultra has been, and will continue to be, “a great senator.”

“I have a great deal of confidence in him,” Rutherford added. “He is a stand-up guy. He is a businessman. He’s from small rural Illinois. He’s got legislative experience and he’s pretty doggone sharp on his feet and has both feet on the ground.”

“I have to say I have been very blessed to have been nurtured by Dan,” Cultra responded. “I’m just honored to be able to replace him — or try to replace him. You couldn’t ask for a better guy and I’m honored to be associated with him.”

Rutherford was met with applause when he spoke about some of the things he has done to cut costs at the treasurer’s office, including eliminating 50 percent of the vehicles used at the office, closing six unneeded satellite offices and reducing 72 percent of the tax-payer funded mobile phones used by office associates. He said  it is important that governmental offices make cuts similar to those that small businesses and the general public make.

“Candidly, that’s not going to solve the problem of the budget, but it is something that I think the public of Illinois can relate to,” he said, adding that he hopes other politicians follow his example.

The two public officials took time to answer questions from audience members. During this time, Cultra spoke about the state’s worker’s compensation reform, pension reform and the state’s need to cut spending.

“It’s going to be painful, but there are a lot of great programs out there that are going to have to take less money,” he said.

Although Rutherford and Cultra were both enthusiastic about their current positions, Rutherford said there is one downside.

“The sad thing is I probably won’t have the opportunity to visit as frequently now because I represent 102 counties,” Rutherford said. “But, one thing you know is I don’t forget, and that’s why I wanted to come back here to say, ‘Thank you, I’m honored, I appreciated it and I intend to work very hard as your treasurer.’”