Logan County Board to review per
diem policy and possible extra work pay
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[October 18, 2016]
- On Tuesday, October 11, 2016, the Logan County Board's Finance
Committee held its monthly meeting. Committee members present were
finance chairman Chuck Ruben, board vice chairman Bob Farmer, Dave
Blankenship, Gene Rohlfs, and Adam Schmidt. Guests were Amy Kuhlman,
Katherine Yaple and Kevin Bateman.
One highlight of discussion was per diem rules for board pay.
Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Ruben said he had Sally Turner
contact other county clerks about their per diem rules. Per diem is
pay per day, and board members receive $60 per diem for attending
Ruben said Turner also contacted Herman Bodewes of the Union County
Council of Illinois. Ruben said Turner was told counties can only do
what the state "empowers them to do." The committee chairmen could
be paid more per diem, but "the only one of the board that could be
paid more than any other member is the county board chairman."
Ruben said the per diem can be changed "midstream," but it would
have to be for half the board members. The half that are going on
the next term would get the increase, but the other half don't
because they were already in office when it was passed.
Ruben said "our interest is in making the per diems equitable in how
we handle them." He wants to have a policy in place before the new
board members join the board in December. Ruben said he would "draw
something up" and get it to the state's attorney for approval before
bringing it back to the finance committee.
Committee member Gene Rohlfs said the board chairman, building and
grounds committee chairman, and finance committee chairmen, all put
in a lot of time working on their committees.
Rohlfs said in his role as Airport and Farm Committee chairman, he
had seven meetings during August, which was unusually busy. He said
most of it was managerial time, and per diem pay meant he made about
$6.89 per hour.
Rohlfs asked about making changes to the per diem for extra work
they do for the committees.
Ruben said per diem is one per day and every assigned meeting is a
per diem. He said exceptions are meetings and managerial duties for
various committee chairs "over and above" the normal meetings. Ruben
said any meeting not assigned, the chairman has to sign off on.
Ruben said there could also be exceptions for the committee chairmen
for extra work at their committee assignments or for other members
for additional work assigned by the chairman and signed off on by
Rohlfs asked Ruben whether he would advise filling out a different
voucher for the meeting per diems and the other meetings.
Ruben said vouchers could be stapled to the form for regularly
attended meetings for bookkeeping purposes.
Ruben said if a board member were to go somewhere such as
Bloomington to talk to the Regional Superintendent about an issue or
to do research, it would be good to get the board chairman's
approval first. If the board chairman said no, board members could
do the research on their own time, but not receive pay.
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If someone feels the use of time is abused, that member may talk to Chairman
Hepler, and the chairman may want to look more closely at what he signed off on.
The chairman may want to look at the situation more closely, but he may also be
able to give the reasons the work was done.
Bateman said someone could go to the chairman if something looks questionable.
Ruben said board members may question why something was signed off on.
Committee member Adam Schmidt said he likes the idea of wording that protects
board members when they are putting in extra time since they are using valuable
time and should be paid for it.
Committee member Dave Blankenship asked whether the chairman could override the
Board member Kevin Bateman said State's Attorney Jonathan Wright told him you
cannot turn in two per day even if you do more hours in a day.
Bateman said work has to be something substantial to be put down as per diem,
not something like a five minute phone call.
Ruben said most are conscientious about what they turn in. He does not write
down every time he stops in the courthouse even if he talks with someone for a
couple of hours.
Ruben said someone who makes two trips in a day could turn in two mileage forms
for the day.
Rohlfs said ever since he started working with the airport committee, he has
kept a business log which includes names of people he meets with and
descriptions of what they discussed.
Rohlfs asked about specific pay for some of the managerial duties, but Ruben
said the state does not allow for it.
Ruben will work on an addendum concerning per diem to the financial policy for
next month. The next finance committee meeting will be Tuesday, November 8 at