focus of the evening was to pass a budget for the coming fiscal year
that begins Dec 1.
Finance chairman Chuck Ruben introduced items
that needed to be decided before voting on the budget.
Almost a year ago, the county learned that the state of Illinois
would be attaching a new requirement to the public transportation
The county had just launched a public transportation program five
months earlier, in July 2012, after four years of preparing and
being told it would not cost the county anything. Federal grant
money would be used to operate the program, shared by Logan and
Mason counties. Community Action agreed to roll this into its
transportation programs and manage it.
All was going well with the program, and it was continuing to
expand its services.
Then the county received notice that a project compliance and
oversight management officer, or PCOM position, would need to be in
place by Jan. 1, 2014. The PCOM was a new requirement passed down by
the state to oversee the expenditures aspect of the program. The
state would pay 80 percent of the costs for hours worked and
County board administrative secretary Pamela Meagher was asked if
she would be interested, and she has been attending seminars and
classes on this position all year.
Meagher's current duties include secretarial work for the county
board and insurance administration, among other tasks that she is
given by board members. This year she and other department heads in
the courthouse also helped prepare the county's budget, a huge
undertaking that is normally hired out.
The PCOM position would be most demanding during its first year
of setup. It was unknown just how much time would be required, but
for Meagher to take the position would require a redistribution of
the workload in the board office.
Until Wednesday evening, it was being considered to move the
county's zoning officer, Will D'Andrea, to the courthouse and give
him some of the board office duties, plus expand his job description
to do some county management and administration.
What finally evolved Wednesday evening after more discussion, led
by Kevin Bateman, was rather than hire a part-time secretarial
assistant for the county board office, add a full-time position with
specific desired skills, complementary to what Meagher can do and
what the board has identified as unmet needs.
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"We need to attract a good-quality person that can handle the
growth in the years to come," Bateman said.
The board voted on the portion of the motion to hire Meagher as
PCOM and county board office manager/assistant at a salary of
$32,000 with benefits, and a raise the same as other officeholders.
She would continue working in areas of her specialties for the
county board and cover some of the office hours to provide
consistency for the office. This passed 8-1 with Terry Carlton the lone
The portion to hire a part-time employee was amended to make it a
full-time employee for the county board office at 35 hours per week
at a salary of $22,500, plus provide raises and benefits that are
afforded to other county employees. Ruben said the insurance would
be approximately $6,000 a year, and retirement benefits figure at 7.5
percent of the salary. This would add about $8,000 a year more in
costs for the new position. This passed 7-2 with Gene Rohlfs and Ruben
The above combined motion and amendment for new positions and
salaries was then voted on and passed unanimously.
With those positions and duties decided, Bateman pointed out that
there would be no need to bring D'Andrea to the courthouse or give
him additional duties.
"The county's needs at this time are taken care of by the prior
motion on positions and duties," Bateman said.
Rohlfs agreed with Bateman that with the new position that
is being added, the county's needs would be met, but he voiced his and
several others' concerns. "I do want to keep Will and keep him working for the county,"
Ruben pointed out that the salary increase with the proposed
expanded position was not much over what D'Andrea is already
getting. D'Andrea was just wanting to do the bidding of the county
by taking on the extra duties that were being discussed. Ruben was
pretty sure D'Andrea would be OK with the decisions that the board
had just made.