Committee members present for the meeting were Chuck Ruben, Andy
Meister and Jan Schumacher. In order to pass votes through the
committee, a quorum is needed. Due to the absence of board chairman
Bob Farmer, vice chairman David Hepler filled in for the discussions
and votes. In addition, over a dozen guests were in attendance,
including Dan Fulscher, EMA director; Kim Turner, chief probation
officer; Vicki Dugan, county treasurer; and several representatives
of the health department.
Health department budget
Mark Hilliard of the Logan County Department of Public Health was
present at the meeting to make a request for the upcoming budget.
His request was for the county to place the health department's
maximum tax levy amount into the overall county budget.
Originally, the tentative figure set into the budget was
$332,857. If the county approves of the maximum levy amount
requested, that amount will be increased to $366,864. The money for
the increase would be transferred from remaining money in the
Hilliard also brought a written statement covering the efforts
undertaken by the health department over the last year. The
following, from Hilliard's statement, is a list of changes that have
already been made due to financial hardship:
Since May, the
department has had to cut $30,000 every month in expenses.
purchases have been eliminated.
have taken on a four-day workweek.
One employee was
have been vacant by attrition.
All employees are
taking four furlough days.
clinic hours are no longer available on Fridays.
The HOPE Mobile
was retired in July.
services have been eliminated.
vaccinations and clinics have been eliminated.
Hilliard also said that the current proposal (before his request
at the committee meeting) was $580,000 less than for fiscal 2013,
and there may still be layoffs to come in the near future and
possible elimination of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer
Program in the county.
Hilliard also said that should the department not receive their
full levy, they would have to shut down the dental program, leaving
$200,000 in unused equipment. The program has served nearly 3,000
people in the last 2 1/2 years.
"If we lose that, we won't be able to start it up again," said
Hepler, who also serves on the health department committee.
Ruben said the health department has been suffering the last few
years in the same manner as the highway department, where the ending
fund balance has been decreasing for the past several years.
The committee voted to approve of the maximum tax levy to be
placed in the budget. It was discussed and tentatively agreed on
during the board of whole as well.
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Probation office secretary
Kim Turner, the chief probation officer, was present at the
meeting to ask the committee for two increases in her budget.
The first line item concerned the salary of the office secretary.
Turner said her current secretary will be leaving soon to work in a
different county office. As a result, the probation office will need
to pay a week's pay for the current secretary to help train whoever
is hired to take her place. In addition, Turner would like to see
that salary increased to $27,565.
The second issue was the placement of additional money into the
probation office's budget. Turner said she received an overdue
payment from the state for $7,000, and she would like to see $2,400
of that money put back into the probation office budget.
Both of these changes were approved by the committee and also
gained favor in a straw vote during last Thursday's board of whole.
The committee discussed the idea of reducing the fees charged to
the public by the GIS office. Originally, the reduction would have
been a 50 percent reduction, but the committee voted on a reduction
of 25 percent.
It was explained that the GIS office is looking to reduce fees,
as they have built up some savings in their fund balance over the
past few years. In addition, the GIS office is not expecting to work
on major projects in the near future, so they do not anticipate
needing a large amount of excess funds. A portion of the excess
funds came from a smaller price on their end for a recent mapping
The committee voted to approve the reduction, with Hepler voting
no. Hepler said he wants to see the fees stay at the same level.
For all of the budget items, the whole budget would be voted on
for display purposes at the adjourned session Wednesday evening.
A bonus for Pamela Meagher
The Logan County offices have taken on a larger share of
preparing the budget this year than in the past. In particular,
county secretary Pamela Meagher has been working with the finance
committee on preparing several drafts of the budget so far. The
committee discussed a bonus for Meagher for her efforts.
Ruben proposed taking any approved bonus out of the line item for
part-time help for that office.
Turner spoke up during the discussion, saying that it doesn't
seem fair to be talking about bonuses for anyone if there are other
departments, such as the health department, that are struggling to
make ends meet and cannot provide raises for their employees at all.
Turner also asked if this would set a precedent for the future.
Ruben said that bonuses have been given in the past, and there
are offices within the county that do, but it is a rare thing for
the county board to do. Ruben said he is usually opposed to bonuses,
as there are organizations outside of the county offices that give
them so often that they become expected, which creates problems if
there is a year when bonuses are absent.
The committee voted on a bonus amount of $1,000. The committee
approved the bonus, and the full board is expected to vote on it
[By DEREK HURLEY / LDN]