Monday, October 21, 2013
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County sets budget for display

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[October 21, 2013]  This month the Logan County Board agreed to a budget that will be posted for viewing for 30 days.

The finance committee began its work at the beginning of August on the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins Dec. 1. The proposed budget was presented to the full board for review and discussion in September. Several changes were made then.

This month the committee presented its recommendation of the proposed budget to the full board.

Beginning at the board of whole on Oct. 10, various board members proposed amendments to the proposed budget. Numerous long discussions ensued and straw votes helped show the board what might gain favor when the vote for display would take place at the adjourned session.

At the adjourned session on Oct. 16, the proposed budget once again was put on the table with a new call for amendments to be brought forward.

The board of whole and adjourned board sessions constituted nearly 4 1/2 hours of additional pertinent discussion on budget-related items and the budget.

After lots of discussion, more than an hour into the Wednesday meeting, the positions and salaries were voted on:

  • Hire Pam Meagher as PCOM officer and county board secretary at $32,000 salary, plus benefits and increases the same as other employees.
    Passed 8-1 with Terry Carlton voting "no."

  • Hire 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.
    Passed 7-2 with Rohlfs and Ruben voting "no."

The above combined motion and amendment for new positions and salaries was then voted on and passed unanimously, 9-0.

Following this, the board also unanimously passed a budget for display purposes.

Board chairman Bob Farmer, Rick Aylesworth and Andy Meister were not in attendance at the adjourned session, therefore did not cast votes. This matters in that it increases the possibility that the budget could change when it comes off display and goes to a vote for final acceptance at the adjourned session in November.

Amendments to the budget that passed on Wednesday:

  • Increase salary raises for nonunion, full-time employees from 3 percent to 4 percent. This includes Janet Kvitle, who manages jury duty for Logan County.
    9-0 vote

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  • Adjust the assessor's salary to be the same as other full-time, nonunion employees, from 3 percent to a 4 percent increase, beginning Dec 1.
    9-0 vote

  • Change funding for Regional Office of Education 38 from $56,000 to $62,000.
    6-3 vote with Ruben, Schumacher and Carlton voting "no."

  • Reduce the tuberculosis levy from $46,000 to $1 this year. Add $45,999 to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund levy for the health department. This action would aid the department in its ability to keep the dental clinic open.
    Passed 7-2 with Carlton and Ruben voting "no."

    Administrator Mark Hilliard explained that it was important for the department to receive its full levy, $362,864, which the finance committee had already put into the budget. It was also needed this year to find a way to provide the IMRF funds. Doing so would help keep the newer dental clinic open. To allow it to close would be a serious detriment that could result in losing the grants that support the clinic's operation, which then could possibly lead to the dental clinic never being reopened. Hilliard believed that with time, the clinic will become more self-sustaining.

  • Reinstate a line item under animal control and put $12,000 in it annually. The pool would be grown a few years, and when sufficient, new construction for offices and pet visitation would be added. The vacated old office area would be used to reduce overcrowding of the growing population of animals.
    9-0 vote

At the end of voting on the budget amendments and a unanimous agreement to put the budget as amended on display for 30 days, Ruben reminded board members that the votes this month were just to put the budget on display; this was not the end. The budget would be voted on again for final approval in November. At that time, those who were not present Wednesday -- Bob Farmer, Andy Meister and Rick Aylesworth -- could bring up any of the amendments for a new vote. Also, those who were on the winning side of the amendments that were made, pass or fail, could bring amendments forward again for a revote.


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