Rock Island committee addresses fund balances
The Rock Island County Administration Committee met Sept. 13 to address various fund balances.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the committee:
Administration Committee Minutes Tuesday September 13, 2016 8:30 am
The Administration Committee of the Rock Island County Board met at the above date and time in the Conference Room of the Administration Office on the second floor of the County Building, 1504 Third Ave, Rock Island, IL. Chair Mia Mayberry called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Minutes as follows:
1) Call to order and roll call
Committee members present: Mia Mayberry, Kai Swanson, Nick Camlin, Jeff Deppe, Ginny Shelton, Drue Mielke, Ron Oelke
Committee members absent: None
Others present: Sam DeYoung, Trent Vandersnick, Mike Steffen, Dave Ross, Kenneth Maranda, Hayleigh Covella, Jerry Clyde, Dave Anderson, Kurt Davis, Darren Hart, Tammy Weikert, Amanda Van Daele, April Palmer, Louisa Ewert
2) Approval of the minutes from the August 9, 2016 meeting
Motion to approve: Ginny Shelton 2nd: Kai Swanson Voice vote Motion carried
3) Public comments
There were no public comments.
4) Consider transfers of appropriations
Motion to approve: Nick Camlin 2nd: Drue Mielke Voice vote Motion carried
5) Consider appropriation resolutions for funds
6) Consider approval of claims
Motion to approve: Nick Camlin 2nd: Ginny Shelton Voice vote Motion carried
7) Consider approval of treasurer’s disbursements (TDs)
Motion to approve: Nick Camlin 2nd: Jeff Deppe, Ron Oelke Voice vote Motion carried
8) Reports to the Committee
a) Condition of Funds – Ms. Palmer i. State of IL Payments ii. Comptroller website access
Ms. Van Daele noted that Ms. Palmer is stuck in traffic. Ms. Van Daele offered to answer any questions and said that Ms. Palmer invited anyone to come to her office with questions as well. Ms. Mayberry asked if Ms. Van Daele had anything to note on the report. Ms. Van Daele said it’s all pretty standard. She noted that they will have the quarterly reports soon. They’re almost done and will be sent out to everyone.
Mr. Ross added that on the trial balance sheet in the second column over from the right, it should be at 25%. Anything above 25% is a good thing. Every office or department is above or well above 25%. There are a couple of funds that are under. He noted that Court Admin has been very tight and they’re looking at that. The rest and the overall budget are in good shape. Mr. Ross noted that he doesn’t know where Ms. Palmer has it specifically, but they had budgeted a $2.8 million reduction in the General Fund for the year. As of the report Ms. Palmer gave yesterday, it was right around the $300,000 range. If that continues and Elected Officials and Department Heads continue to curtail spending as they are able to, Mr. Ross fully anticipates it will be much better off than that $2.8 million by the end of the year.
Motion to approve report: Kai Swanson 2nd: Jeff Deppe Voice vote Motion carried
b) Information Systems – Mr. Davis
Mr. Davis presented his monthly report. He noted that the county switched over to a new internet provider this morning and hopes to save some money with that. They’re joining the Sheriff’s Department. Ms. Mayberry asked if that’s countywide. Mr. Davis said yes.
Mr. Davis reported that revenue from the website this month was $167.44. That’s up from the previous month.
Mr. Ross noted that Mr. Davis is also analyzing countywide copying needs and the contract. He’s working with all the Elected Officials who are part of that contract to see if the county can save some money. Right now with one particular company, they’ll save $800/month, but Mr. Davis is looking at two other companies as well. Mr. Ross noted that they’re looking at all options to save money. Mr. Davis added that he should have that report later this month.
Ms. Mayberry asked about the packets. She asked if the committee still feels that packets are essential. She knows that so many people have computers and iPads and that they’ve discussed that before. She doesn’t know where they came down as far as cost savings and efficiency. Mr. Ross explained that for all the committees, everything is put out online. He explained that most committee members across the County Board like to have the reports in front of them along with his notes and the agenda. Periodically, depending on the nature of the subject, they’ll make a hard copy of something. Generally speaking, his office tries not to print up much for the committee meetings as a cost savings measure. He explained that unless that’s changed, they’ve had some pushback from those who either don’t look online or would like to look at it right in front of them.
Motion to approve report: Drue Mielke 2nd: Ginny Shelton Voice vote Motion carried
c) Public Defender – Mr. Heintz
Mr. Heintz’s report was in the packet.
Motion to approve report: Drue Mielke 2nd: Jeff Deppe Voice vote Motion carried
d) Emergency Management Agency – Mr. Shirk
Mr. Shirk’s report was in the packet. Captain Hart offered to answer any questions for Mr. Shirk.
Motion to approve report: Kai Swanson 2nd: Ron Oelke Voice vote Motion carried
e) Court Services – Mr. Vandersnick
Mr. Vandersnick presented his monthly report. He noted that for State of Illinois payments, they just received another reimbursement for probation salary a couple of weeks ago that carries them through April. They’re about 41?2 months behind, which is actually pretty good shape for them.
Motion to approve report: Kai Swanson 2nd: Jeff Deppe Voice vote Motion carried
f) Circuit Court – Ms. Weikert
Ms. Weikert said she had some new things to tell the committee about in her office that are exciting. She’s not exactly sure the direction it will go, but it will be interesting to look at the data once it’s all compiled. Ms. Weikert explained that there’s an initiative between the AOIC and an organization called Measures for Justice. They are taking a look at criminal cases that are filed in her office and analyzing that data to look for trends in the types of charges that are filed. Ms. Weikert noted that it will be interesting. They’re going to look at not just cities, but the county as a whole, and all that information will go to the AOIC. She’s not exactly sure how much of that will come back to her office and exactly what they can do with that information. Ms. Weikert added that it’s a partnership not just with the Circuit Court, but together with the State’s Attorney’s office, so a lot of information that they have and that the Circuit Court has will be compiled into a large data package. It’ll give them the ability to assess that and go from there. Ms. Weikert explained that it’s something the Supreme Court is interested in looking at and the disparities that can come from that. Her office is interested in that. They just signed the contract with them yesterday. Ms. Weikert noted that the technical part of things as far as how to get the data has already been completed so the vendor is ready to provide that information.
Captain Hart noted that the Sheriff’s Department has been working with them for many months. The Sheriff’s office and all law enforcement locally have provided them information for all arrests. Mr. Vandersnick said his office has also. Ms. Weikert said that it’s not just the charge information, then. That way they’ll have it from the arrest or the possible stop all the way through the entire thing. Her office is excited to be a part of that. She and Ms. Bernard have been working on it together and she knew the Sheriff’s Department was involved.
Mr. Oelke asked if certain jurisdictions are doing this. Ms. Weikert said there are five counties in Illinois participating at this point. Captain Hart added that it started at the Chief Judge’s office. He reached out and asked for the county’s to be looked at.
Ms. Mayberry asked if they’re analyzing racial disparities or income or what. Ms. Weikert said and gender. It’s the entire picture. She noted that the data is only as good as what her office has. Not everything is compiled. There can be some margin of error, but her office is excited to be part of it. It will be interesting to see the outcome. Ms. Mayberry asked if Ms. Weikert knows how long it will be before she gets the information back. Ms. Weikert said no. She explained that it’s a rather large initiative for her office to compile the data because they have to be careful how the program is written with all the secure data they have. They just signed the approval yesterday. She was very thorough in not releasing some of that confidential information they have.
Mr. Steffen asked what AOIC stands for. Ms. Weikert said the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts. She explained that they answer directly to the Supreme Court.
Ms. Weikert reported that her office is getting ready to kick off a new collections program with the same vendor they’ve had collecting delinquent county fees and money owed to the Circuit Court. They had tried a different vendor previously to test them out and have not been so thrilled with some of those results. They are going back to the original vendor and starting a new kickoff with them to improve collections. Ms. Weikert noted that they should see between now and the end of the year a pretty sizable increase in collections. That should prove beneficial. That will also improve the tax intercept program so when they go into the first quarter of 2017, they’ll have many more cases that have been submitted to the state comptroller that will return a lot of funds to her office, including the delinquent child support admin fees. That’s something they haven’t done to date, so they’re looking forward to beginning that process. There’s about $1.5 million owed to her office in negligent accounts, so that’s a very returnable method for them to collect a large amount of money. Many people who have the ability and are paying child support maybe don’t realize that they have this clerk fee of $36 that they pay to the Circuit Court to maintain their child support records. It’s a very collectable means for them.
She noted that in the first year, they’ll have a much higher return than subsequent years.
Ms. Mayberry asked if that works in conjunction with the tax intercept program. Ms. Weikert said yes. They’ll start collections now and anything still owed to her office in the first quarter of 2017 will be turned over to the comptroller for offset. It’s not just their state income tax. It’s also anyone who works for the state of Illinois, it’s for lottery. If they win lottery, her office gets to collect.
Ms. Weikert reported that one of the things her office did this month was tour a couple of different counties as far as looking at the clerk’s offices and courthouses as they go into this initiative with the Sheriff’s Department and the IS Department. They went to DeKalb County and that gave her a good vision for some options they could include in the new plans. She was excited to participate. She appreciates Judge Braud including her office in that plan.
Ms. Weikert concluded that the last thing she has is she and Mr. Clyde have been working together to get the job descriptions rewritten in her office. She noted that many of them have not been done since the late 1990s. They started with nonunion positions and are getting those wrapped up and moving on to union positions. She noted that she appreciates Mr. Clyde’s help with that.
Motion to approve report: Drue Mielke 2nd: Kai Swanson Voice vote Motion carried
g) Animal Control – Ms. DeYoung
Ms. DeYoung provided her monthly report.
Ms. Mayberry asked how the event went. Ms. DeYoung said it was good. She noted that it would have been nice to see a few more County Board members and that it’s hard raising funds. She said it would have been nice to have a little more support. It was fun.
Motion to approve report: Jeff Deppe 2nd: Ginny Shelton Voice vote Motion carried
h) Coroner – Mr. Gustafson
Mr. Gustafson’s report was in the packet.
Motion to approve report: Jeff Deppe 2nd: Kai Swanson Voice vote Motion carried
i) Sheriff – Captain Hart
Captain Hart presented his monthly report after Item 8d.
Motion to approve report: Ginny Shelton 2nd: Kai Swanson, Ron Oelke Voice vote Motion carried
9) Committee member opportunity for brief comments (no decisions will be made)
Ms. Palmer is present. She presented her monthly report.
Ms. Palmer provided her standard monthly reports. She started with the trial balance or budgetary standings of the funds and departments that report to this committee. Ms. Palmer noted that they had a few approved changes that she’s sure the committee took care of already this morning. There are a couple of over budget funds due to extenuating circumstances. There are things the county has to pay for and take care of. The court system is one. The coroner is another. Along with the court system is, of course, the law library. Those are actually over budget, unfortunately. They’re just taking care of normal business and trying to do what they’re supposed to be doing.
Ms. Palmer turned to the fund balance page. She pointed out the current fund balance column in the middle and noted that she always tries to draw attention to that. The General Fund’s fund balance is now down $330,000. That’s compared to last year at this same time as of August 31. That seems to be a direct result of revenues leveling out. Ms. Palmer explained that she has been talking in months past about revenues being about $300,000 up from last year at this same time. Those are now only up about $110,000. They are still up, which is a good thing. They’re just not up as much and not enough to take care of the 2015 deficit where she had to record the replacement revenue that is due back to the state. Because of that, the fund was $220,000 in the hole.
Ms. Palmer reported that the county has 54% of property taxes collected now as opposed to 75% of the fiscal year that’s gone by. Expenses are up about $220,000, which is very good considering they were expecting a $2.8 million deficit and are only at $330,000 now. Things are okay as far as that goes and not being as bad as expected, but they are not going in the positive direction either and they really need to have that happen.
Ms. Palmer noted that the Animal Control negative fund balance has decreased from last month. It’s still about $50,000 higher than last August, but revenue is up $40,000 and expenses are down $38,000 overall, so it’s moving in the right direction. They are trying to do what they need to in order to cut costs and generate additional revenues. It’s just not enough right now to take care of that deficit. There is a predicted $95,000 of General Fund assistance budgeted to help Animal Control. At this time, as shows on the cash balance on the next page, she doesn’t think that will be needed. She’ll have to see how the next few months go. The fund balance is definitely going in the negative due to the outstanding loans.
Ms. Palmer noted that since this is a quarterly, she will have paragraph write-ups shortly after the meeting today. She offered to put those in mailboxes or email them. She has a few more tweaks to make to them from last night.
Ms. Palmer reported that the Child Welfare Fund is way under the cost of what it was in August 2015. If the spending for the remainder of this fiscal year goes as it has so far, she predicts they will be under budget spending by around $150,000. She noted that Mr. Vandersnick may know differently, but she hopes things keep going. That’ll relieve $150,000 of budgeted expenses in the General Fund because that is a 100% General Fund-supported fund. Court Security is also much lower than last fiscal year in August. She noted that they may need some General Fund assistance still, but they had a budgeted dollar amount of $240,000 of assistance and they’re under budget spending. With that and the additional revenues that they have brought in, she thinks maybe they’ll only need $120,000-150,000 instead of $240,000. That’ll relieve budgeted expenses in the General Fund, which is a wonderful thing. Ms. Palmer noted that the only one that is a little iffy is there is a deficit still in the COPS fund. She was hoping that would be self- sufficient at this time with the IMRF and FICA expenses being taken care of by those funds respectively, so with running a negative cash balance they may need some General Fund assistance by the end of the fiscal year before they move that into the General Fund next year. That happens December 1. It’ll be close, so she doesn’t know. It’ll depend on the revenues that come in. They may need about $50,000 of assistance from the General Fund. She’ll keep an eye on that fund.
Ms. Palmer reported on the cash balance page that the General Fund cash, of course, is way too low. It was $900,000+ last year at this same time and is only at $327,000 now. The claim total is down where it should be. There are 61?2 remaining payrolls and 41?2 months, including the 60 days at year end, of claims and TDs. She expects that to be about $8 million to get through the end of the fiscal year and only expects, if the county brings in every single penny of revenue that is anticipated, $8.9 million more in revenues this fiscal year. That only leaves $1 million as opposed to $2 million last year in cash. That is a cash flow issue. That’s what the county would go into operations for the new fiscal year with, so that’s looking a little bad.
Ms. Palmer reported that this morning before 8:00 a.m., so Ms. Ewert may have better numbers, General Fund cash was $503,293.00. Watching that over the week, yesterday’s was way lower. It’s almost doubled in a day. Ms. Palmer noted that Ms. Ewert had found some information on the comptroller’s website that the county may get supplemental sales tax in this week. Ms. Ewert noted that the balance is right around $977,000 now. Ms. Palmer said that means they can meet payroll Friday without having to take a loan out.
Ms. Palmer reported that Court Automation and Child Support are a little lower. Those funds did have some reserve spending planned. She noted that she watches Child Support a little bit and they may need a cash loan before the fiscal year ends depending on revenues. Revenue is way down and it’s just killing them. The anticipated revenues just aren’t there this year. They’ve only collected 41% and should be at 75%. They do still have a cash balance and are trying to make it by day by day. Ms. Palmer hopes they don’t need a loan, but noted that it may happen before the year’s end because of the cash flow situation there.
Ms. Palmer provided two other reports. She noted that the State of Illinois Payments report shows the actual reimbursements that have been brought in during a particular month so far. The other report is a flyer she thought would be convenient for everyone. Ms. Palmer explained that she went to a State of Illinois Comptroller training. She noted that the comptroller is the same as the auditor. They have these options of websites that you can use and get on and do comparisons from county to county, municipalities, adjacent counties, counties of the same size, that type of thing. They have all kinds of statistics. Ms. Palmer explained that she is mandated by law to put the annual audit out there every year to the state, so they compile that information based upon real numbers. Other counties and cities are required to do the same. Some searches they pulled up in the class were interesting so she thought maybe at budget time it would be helpful to go out there and see those comparisons so when constituents ask questions, County Board members can find out for sure.
Mr. Steffen noted that Ms. Palmer mentioned that court security costs are down and asked if she or Captain Hart can comment what they’re doing differently. Captain Hart explained that it’s all staffing. He said there’s so much money allocated for bailiffs and deputies and so forth. They try to do with as little as they can over there every day. It’s a juggling game. It’s dependent on the court and what they require, much like staffing.
Ms. Mayberry noted that she knows she touched on this last month, but Governmental Affairs yesterday passed the measure for the new committee structure. In so doing, that would eliminate this committee. As she touched on last month, she thinks the information the Administration Committee gets from Department Heads and Elected Officials at their meetings is invaluable. The fact that they can go back and forth with them and ask questions, for instance the information that Ms. Weikert provided is essential to know and relay to constituents and have a pulse on what’s going on. That will be up for a vote on Tuesday. She asked the committee to keep that in mind. Mr. Mielke noted that the information exchange wouldn’t cease. They’d still get the same information in a larger committee. Ms. Mayberry said she’s being told it would be optional for Department Heads to attend meetings. She believes the in-person interaction is essential. Mr. Ross explained that, for example, Ms. Weikert would report to Governance. She would still report if that committee asked her to. There would be no difference in that regard. Ms. Mayberry asked for confirmation that she would report if the committee asked her and asked if the structure would be that the Department Heads and Elected Officials are at the meetings every month as they are now. Mr. Ross said if that’s what the committee wants, that’s what they would do.
Motion to adjourn: Jeff Deppe Meeting adjourned at 9:02 a.m. by Chair Mia Mayberry.
Future scheduled meetings on October 11, November 9, December 13, and January 10