Thursday, September 2, 2010

Will Boone County Government be cutting anything in its 2011 budget

I have attended the budget hearings this Monday and this Thursday at the Locust Street Center.  The County Board is faced with a large revenue shortfall and asked for proposed budgets that will reflect  smaller budgets. A 12% cut is the proposed target so the budget expenses will match revenue projections. Yet it seems few of the  departments are following the request.  What is the problem —the county board not requiring the departments to comply or the department (many of whom are elected officials) choosing not to comply?

First off,  As shown in capital letters in photocopy #1, “DEADLINE FOR ALL BUDGETS FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010, 12 PM.  The Sheriff’s budgets for the Public Safety Building, jail and sheriff’s patrol were not submitted as of August 30 and according to a statement from the Sheriff at the Public Safety Committee Meeting on August 30--they will be submitted after “month’s end”.  The Sheriff’s budgets are the largest  based upon payroll. Either the committee is asking too much or the Sheriff can do what he wishes.  At the Thursday meeting the County Administrator indicated that the Sheriff’s budgets were received however they would not be released to the board until the county administrator had an opportunity to review the budgets.  Needless to say, the report will not be available to the public until after that.

The budget request from Growth Dimensions also was not received and a “zero” was used on some finance committee documents however it is anticipated that Growth Dimensions will be making a budget request.

I will be posting the budgets from both the Monday and Thursday meetings—HOWEVER—the big news for Thursday is that the committee is changing their procedures.   The finance committee and the full county board will determine what the county’s revenue “should be”, what reserves they will spend and then begin to work out the numbers with the department heads.  See this story at:  http://boonecountywatchdog.blogspot.com/2010/09/revised-boone-county-budget-process-for.html

 

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

Budget hearings 1` Budget hearing 2 budget hearing 3

#1-- Schedule   #2—Sched   #3—Sched

STATES ATTORNEY

Nearly the entire cut is in Grant Wages—a cut in students  working in the SA office.  These wages are actually paid from grants and are effectively a pass through with no net effect on budget. These attorneys cannot be used on felony cases.

The budget is shown on photocopy #4.  a written statement concern the effects of a 12% cut is on photo #5.  Photocopy 6 shows the department employees and their wage costs.

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

budget hearing  4budget hearing 5 budget hearing 6

#4—St At Budget       #5 St. At     #6 St At Wages

COUNTY CLERK

Expenses are nearly identical to last year’s budget.  See photocopy #7.  The reader should exclude the Revenue Stamp Expense.  The stamps can only be purchased form the state in bulk and basically are sold at nearly twice face to persons registering their property.  It really is not a controllable expense.  Photocopy #8 is a written comment on the effect of a 12% cut in budget.  One interesting item from the committee hearing regards closing the  office during lunch.  Such would  be necessary if there is a cut in personnel.  Apparently the county board would have to pass a change in ordinance to allow the office to close for lunch.  Photocopy #9 for the employee list and wages.

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

budget hearing  7 Budget hear #8 budget hearing #9

#7--Co Clk  Budget       #8—Co Clk    #9 Co Clk Wages

CLERK TO THE CIRCUIT CLERK

Expense are up 1.5% due to unionized wage increases, a $,2251 increase in the Circuit Clerk’s salary approved by the county board in 2009 and a reclassification of a  non-union employee. The union contract expires on November 30, 2010.  A $5,596 in unionized wages due to step raises are not shown on the budget expenses.  See #10 for more details concerning the budget. 

A lengthy two page explanation of the effect of a 12.5% budget reduction is shown on page #11 &12.  According to the present union contract 3 persons would have to be laid off to reach the 12.5% reduction.  Ms. Ohlsen states:  “My office cannot sustain this reduction in staff”.  On Page 11,  Direct Result, item 2, there is a statement that “Dispositional work…would quickly be impossible to complete within 9-12 months.”  In discussion with the committee it was told that such work is currently backlogged to May 2010 (3 months).  Ms. Ohlsen was requested to check with counties of similar size (Stephenson and Ogle Counties) and report back on these counties’ backlog.

Pages 13&14 shows the wage bill for FY 2011.

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

budget hearings 10budget hearin 11 budget hearing --12

#10 Circ Clk Budget    #11-Circ Clk   #12—Circ Clk

budget hearing 13 budget hearing #14

#13 Circ Clk—Union     #14 Cir Clk—non-union

BP Says Curb on Drilling Would Imperil Payouts

Sounds like an ultimatum? 

BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP is particularly concerned about a drilling overhaul bill passed by the House on July 30. The bill includes an amendment that would bar any company from receiving permits to drill on the Outer Continental Shelf if more than 10 fatalities had occurred at its offshore or onshore facilities. It would also bar permits if the company had been penalized with fines of $10 million or more under the Clean Air or Clean Water Acts within a seven-year period.

While BP is not mentioned by name in the legislation, it is the only company that currently meets that description.

Click on the following for more details:  BP Says Curb on Drilling Would Imperil Payouts - NYTimes.com

BP Says Curb on Drilling Would Imperil Payouts

Sounds like an ultimatum? 

BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Click on the following for more details:  BP Says Curb on Drilling Would Imperil Payouts - NYTimes.com

Revised Boone County Budget Process for FY 2011

At tonight’s Finance Committee Budget meeting it was decided that the process would changed.  There was a length discussion regarding changing the process to coincide with the new outline supplied by the County Administrator.  Basically a more solid revenue estimate along with additional revenue possibilities such as using reserves would agreed upon  by the county board    Once these numbers are agreed, then the affected departments would have meetings with the committee regarding their budget.  See the two page memo describing the process and dates of meetings shown below:

Click on the photocopy to enlarge: 

budget hearing A budget hearing b

Several new developments regarding possible cuts in budgets were discussed.  It is possible that the Health Department will not be replacing their Administrator (Assistant Administrator, Stephanie Crawford).  Thus $75,200 (FY 2010) or $78,000 (FY 2011) could be saved and possibly not be levied by the county for the Health Department.  In the Planning Department Adam Tegen ($64,180) is resigning and may not be replaced.  That decision is a shared decision with the City of Belvidere.

Finally a long term project was proposed by the committee to seek help from local manufacturing firms  in beginning a program similar to the “LEAN” manufacturing system.  The program could take several years but a more labor efficient operation could occur in many county departments. Crucial to the plan is the cooperation of elected and appointed department heads.

Will Boone County Government be cutting anything in its 2011 budget

I have attended the budget hearings this Monday and this Thursday at the Locust Street Center.  The County Board is faced with a large revenue shortfall and asked for proposed budgets that will reflect  smaller budgets. I believe a 12% cut is the proposed target so the budget expenses will match revenue projections. Yet it seems few of the  departments are following the request.  What is the problem —the county board not requiring the departments to comply or the department (many of whom are elected officials) choosing not to comply?

First off,  As shown in capital letters in photocopy #1, “DEADLINE FOR ALL BUDGETS FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010, 12 PM.  The Sheriff’s budgets for the Public Safety Building, jail and sheriff’s patrol were not submitted as of August 30 and according to a statement from the Sheriff at the Public Safety Committee Meeting on August 30.  They will be submitted after “month’s end”.  The Sheriff’s budgets are the largest  based upon payroll. Either the committee is asking too much or the Sheriff can do what he wishes.  At the Thursday meeting the County Administrator indicated that the Sheriff’s budgets were received however they would not be released to the board until the administrator had an opportunity to review the budgets.  Needless to say, the report will not be available to the public until after that.

The budget request from Growth Dimensions also was not received and a “zero” was used on some finance committee documents however it is anticipated that Growth Dimensions will be making a budget request.

I will be posting the budgets from both the Monday and Thursday meetings—HOWEVER—the big news is that the committee is changing their procedures.  See the posting directly above.  The committee and the board will determine what the county’s revenue “should be”, what reserves they will spend and then begin to work out the numbers with the department heads.

 

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

Budget hearings 1` Budget hearing 2 budget hearing 3

#1-- Schedule   #2—Sched   #3—Sched

STATES ATTORNEY

Nearly the entire cut is in Grant Wages—a cut in students  working  at reduced rates.  These wages are actually paid from grants and are effectively a pass through with no net effect on budget. These attorneys cannot be used on felony cases.

The budget is shown on photocopy #4.  a written statement concern the effects of a 12% cut is on photo #5.  Photocopy 6 shows the department employees and their wage costs.

budget hearing  4budget hearing 5 budget hearing 6

#4—St At Budget       #5 St. At     #6 St At Wages

University of Illinois 2000 study finds that municipalities without TIFs grow faster

 

a study released in 2000 by the Institute and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, based on an analysis of 235 municipalities in the metropolitan Chicago region, found that cities, towns and villages that had TIF districts actually grew slower than those municipalities that did not have TIF districts.

Click on the following for more details:  Ted Biondo » University of Illinois study finds that municipalities without TIFs grow faster

DeKalb County Finance committee sends FY2011 budget to county board

Boone County’s Finance Committee is two months from sending the budget to the county board. 

property taxes for the average homeowner will increase by 2.4 percent. Property tax levies were reduced by 5 percent, but the reduction goes to the general fund

bad news translates into is layoffs or downsizing,” Hanson said. For the 2011 budget, county departments were asked to cut expenses by 5 percent of the past year’s budget.

 

sheriff’s office will lose two patrol deputies, one detective and one communications officer

state’s attorney’s office asked for a 2.5 percent reduction instead of 5 percent

Several other departments will cut hours or transfer employees to other cost centers.

 

Bockman proposed cutting the number of county board and committee meetings to save money. The number of monthly meetings each year would be reduced from 12 to 10.

Click on the following for more details:  Finance committee sends FY2011 budget to county board | Daily Chronicle

Woman exonerated after arrest sues over Lake Co.'s DUI crackdown

Take a look at the comments—all 72+ of them.

found not guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2008 has filed a class-action lawsuit challenging Lake County's "no-refusal weekend" program.

allow police to obtain search warrants for suspected drunken drivers who refuse to take a breath test. Prosecutors and judges are on call to issue a search warrant requesting the tests be done under penalty of contempt of court if the suspect continues to refuse.

This is the first lawsuit filed against the constitutionality of "no-refusal" in Lake County. The same program has been challenged twice in Kane County, but both were dismissed.

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | Woman exonerated after arrest sues over Lake Co.'s DUI crackdown