Rock Island County Committee of the Whole met July 12.
Rock Island County Committee of the Whole met July 12.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
The Committee of the Whole of the Rock Island County Board met at the above date and time in the Board Chambers on the third floor of the County Building, 1504 Third Ave, Rock Island, IL. Chair Richard Brunk called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m. Minutes as follows:
1) Call to order and roll call
Members present: Richard Brunk, Larry Burns, Kim Callaway-Thompson, Dewayne Cremeens, Jeff Deppe, Don Johnston, Ed Langdon, Ken Maranda, Mia Mayberry, Drue Mielke, Luis Moreno, Pat Moreno, Scott Noyd, Cecilia O'Brien, Rod Simmer, Edna Sowards, Kai Swanson, Scott Terry, Brian Vyncke, Bob Westpfahl
Members absent: Rich Morthland, Ron Oelke, Robert Reagan, Ginny Shelton, Mike Steffen
2) Public Comments
There were no public comments.
3) Closed session as per 5 ILCS 120/2(c) (11) – Litigation: when an action against, affecting, or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent
Motion to enter into closed session: Ed Langdon 2nd: Jeff Deppe, Mia Mayberry Roll call:
Yes: Brunk, Burns, Callaway-Thompson, Cremeens, Deppe, Johnston, Langdon, Maranda, Mayberry, Mielke, L. Moreno, P. Moreno, , Noyd, O'Brien, Simmer, Sowards, Swanson, Terry, Vyncke, Westpfahl
Motion carried The Committee of the Whole entered into closed session at 5:34 p.m.
4) Enter into open session
Motion to enter into open session: Rod Simmer
2nd: Cecilia O’Brien
The Committee of the Whole entered into open session at 5:53 p.m.
5) Consider action re: 17L8 – Laughlin v. Rock Island County
Motion to postpone action indefinitely: Scott Terry
2nd: Luis Moreno
6) Approval of minutes from the June 14, 2017 meeting
Motion to approve: Mia Mayberry
2nd: Cecilia O’Brien
7) Condition of Funds report
Ms. Palmer started with the trial balance or budgetary standings of the funds and departments within the General Fund. The only thing she has to mention on this report specifically is that they should be over 42% left as of the end of June and all of them are that are not are either grants, one time large expenses, or they are not budgeted funds. Fund 110 is the only one that’s a little over budget. That is IMRF and she explained that last month.
Ms. Palmer moved on to the fund balance report. She noted that on the fund balances page, she usually pays close attention to the current fund balance. Those are the totals as of June 30, 2017. The top is the General Fund. She has just a couple of notes about the General Fund. If they’re comparing this to prior year, which would be June 30, 2016, revenues are down about $750,000. Ms. Palmer asked the committee to keep in mind that they are still working on completing the cost study. That has been quite a process. She has been involved quite heavily and has been sending them back to the drawing board. She does not want anyone to be charged incorrectly. He is working on the seventh draft at this point and hopes to get a new one to Ms. Palmer and Mr. Ross by the end of the week. When the cost study gets done, in years past when they’ve gone off of prior cost studies, they have billed other departments and funds by this time and the General Fund has gotten that revenue in. Of course they have not done that this year because they are waiting on the new and improved, updated cost study to be correctly done and finally submitted. That will come to the County Board for approval and then they will implement it and bill out accordingly.
General Fund expenses are up $365,000. That’s not too bad considering they paid $288,000 just this month in June for the backlog it owed the Employee Health Benefits Fund #501. Last year at this same time the General Fund had not paid that backlog yet. They didn’t pay that until July 22 last year. Now they have already paid it in June this year. That would be for December through May. That is all paid up. That’s part of the $365,000 difference in expenses.
Under Hope Creek, revenues are way down. Compared to June 2016, at that time last year they had $1,685,000 more in revenue from December through June than they do this December through June. Medicare is only collected at about 30%. Public Aid Medicaid is only 27%. Those should be around 60%, or at least 50% considering the state would have paid through May in June. However, the good thing is that expenses are down about $850,000, which is very commendable for the home.
Under the Health Department, revenues are down again about $200,000 compared to June 2016. That’s mostly because of state reimbursements. Ms. Palmer noted that she is not talking about grants. They are paying up close to where they should be as far as grant money coming in at the state and federal levels that pass through the state. These are other reimbursements for costs that the state is supposed to provide the Health Department. At this time, those are only collected at about 27%. Expenses are happily staying steady and are very comparable to where they were last year at the same time. Revenue can’t meet that expense amount, so that’s why the fund balance is falling.
Ms. Palmer reported that Child Welfare continues to be about 10% under budget, which is saving the General Fund at this time around $100,000 that the Child Welfare hasn’t billed to the General Fund to pay. Even though the month is up, the month of June is at $91,000 compared to June 2016 where it was at $71,000. That’s a $20,000 difference. As a whole from December through June, they’re about 10% under budget, so that’s a really good thing. The total General Fund support for Child Welfare is $1,075,000.
Court Security is the only other one Ms. Palmer wanted to report on for this report. That is even more negative than June 2016. It’s about $15,000. Last month on her reports, there was about $16,000 more in the negative in May, so it’s gradually moving more and more into the hole unfortunately. All of those funds will be supplemented by the General Fund. That’s a requirement. They have to have security in the jail.
Ms. Palmer said she also wants to make mention of Fund 501, Employee Health Benefits. It is up from last year now that the General Fund has paid that $288,000 through May. Hope Creek still owes $145,000 for December through May. They have not paid that fund back. If they did, that would bring the revenue really close to meeting the expenses. Revenues to date are $5.249 million and expenses are $5.460 million. They’re running right along with revenues being collected and expenses going out. They’re not losing anything there. Mr. Swanson asked if he understands correctly that Hope Creek owes EHB too. Ms. Palmer confirmed. Mr. Swanson said he’s not sure how that situation.Ms. Palmer said they are billed monthly so the expenses at Hope Creek come out of Hope Creek’s fund. The 501 does not supplement for those expenses, so every month they get billed and reimburse. They haven’t actually moved the cash. Mr. Swanson thanked Ms. Palmer. Ms. O’Brien asked if that is because Hope Creek is waiting for a reimbursement from the state. Ms. Palmer said yes, for the Medicaid and Medicare are way down. Ms. O’Brien asked if once that comes in, they can start catching up. Ms. Palmer said yes, when they get cash they can pay bills.
Ms. Palmer moved onto the cash report. She reported today’s General Fund cash before she came upstairs at $904,505. Ms. Palmer said she changed the second to right hand column due to interfund loans, that’s interfund county with no interest so the County Board can see the balance of all the loans. The General Fund has outstanding right now $1,274,000. Below that, everything in brackets are funds that have contributed cash to the General Fund to help get through this awful time.
Under Court Security, the report compares actual cash. That’s the amount she stated on the last report would have to come from the General Fund. If the county were to close down the books or if it was the fiscal year end, that fund would need $90,453.96 from the General Fund. The existing tax anticipation warrant, she thinks Ms. Ewert will go over in her report, but she does have those numbers in there as well.
On the owing side, in addition to owing the 501 fund, Hope Creek also owes many vendors, so as of June 30 Hope Creek owed $1,114,334 cash out to vendors that are waiting for money. They do plan to pay next Friday with the normal voucher run in July $381,100 of that total. Those are for bills owed back as far as January.
Health Department also owes, but they don’t pay. That’s not because they don’t have cash, but because they don’t bank for the people that pass through grant funds. They wait until they receive money from the state and then forwards the cash. They do not pay those bills that are technically owed by the state. They don’t feel it’s the county’s responsibility to forward funds in advance and strap the county and then wait for the state. They make the vendors on their end wait for their money from the state. That total is $225,706 as of June 30. They plan to pay next Friday $117,004 of that. Those are totals for May and June. Their grants are pretty caught up. They’re just waiting on a few more from the month of May, which they would have been expecting to be received in June. In July they’ll get June’s money and so forth. It’s not too awful.
Ms. Palmer noted that there’s also her State of Illinois payments report. On the bottom, probation officer salary reimbursements are only paid up as of June 30, they may have received money in July that wouldn’t appear here, through August of 2016. The county is still owed about $1 million just in that one single category.
Ms. Mayberry noted that they have made some efforts to get that. She asked if now that the budget has passed there is any hope of seeing some of that get caught up. Ms. Palmer said she hasn’t heard. Ms. Ewert may have heard something from the state level. Ms. Palmer doesn’t see a huge influx of money, but they’ll just take a little time, maybe a month or two, and see how it pans out. Ms. Ewert said she has not heard anything. She knows they were trying to get plans to start repaying some other debt. They don’t really have priority. Ms. Palmer said she knows they’re anxious to take the county’s money that they owe the state, so revenues are going to fall short next time while they recoup income tax dollars they say the county received overpayment on.
8) Staff reports
Ms. Ewert noted that her cover letter pretty much tells what is owing or has happened during the week. The General Fund paid $500,000 of its tax anticipation warrant, which left a principal balance of $250,000. The good news is that even though they didn’t feel comfortable paying that off during the first distribution until the General Fund got some more revenues in so it could make payroll the following week, they did pay it off. They paid off the principal and the interest was $6,019.97. As Ms. Palmer said, the General Fund still has internal loans to Working Cash and the other three funds. It still owes $1,274,000. There is a payment plan scheduled to pay those back by November 28. With every distribution, the General Fund will make payments to get that paid off by the fiscal year end. General Fund also paid off delayed disbursements to the health benefits fund with that first distribution.
Hope Creek made a $400,000 principal payment toward their tax anticipation warrant. The balance still owing on that is $1,350,000. They had borrowed $1.750 million.
Liability Insurance also paid off their tax anticipation warrant of $500,000 in principal with interest of $4,338.75.
Ms. Ewert noted that the interest rate did take another jump. In March it was 0.35%, then it went to 0.45%, then 0.90%. At the end of June it was 0.99%. It has gone up again to 1%, so there will be a significant difference when they compare current year interest rate to date to prior year. Last June it was only $19,787. This June it was $49,269. That made a big, more than half, jump.
Ms. Callaway-Thompson asked if she heard that Hope Creek is paying vendors 180 days in arrears. Ms. Palmer said they’re behind on some from every month as far back as January. Ms. Callaway-Thompson asked if they anticipate another principal payment for the tax anticipation warrant at Hope Creek. Ms. Ewert noted that with every distribution, they did have a payment plan scheduled. She did have to revamp the payment plan because the first payment was supposed to be over $500,000. They weren’t able to do that because of vouchers and payroll. They are still $1.114 million in arrears for payments. They originally wanted to pay $525,000, but that would have left them short $146,000 next payroll so they scaled back. If they get more receipts in, they’ll be able to do a half month run to get some of those payments paid down, so she is watching the balances and projecting no more than four weeks in advance because they don’t know how payments will come in from the state and private pay. She hopes to stay on schedule with paying back that TAW. Actually, when Mr. Dryg sent her an email last week, he wanted to pay with the August distribution, which is larger because there is a due date in August, September, and November. He wanted to pay $450,000 in August, September, and November. That all sounds great, however come December 1st they have a bond payment due. They can’t be late with that.
9) Finance & Personnel Committee report
Mr. L. Moreno reported that the Finance and Personnel Committee met Tuesday, July 11. They considered appropriation resolutions for funds and transfers of appropriations. They considered claims totaling $1,738,525.67. They considered approval of TDs totaling $4,668,703.62. The committee heard an update on an MOU between Hope Creek and AFSCME 2371 that would bring salaries for RNs and LPNs in line with area averages in hopes of attracting more nursing staff and reducing staffing agency costs. The committee approved repairing the county office building front elevator motor and generator at an estimated cost of $12,500. The committee considered mold abatement options for the county office building and recommended pursuing formal bids for air duct cleaning and purchasing ozone purifiers for each floor. The committee approved the mileage and per diem reports.
10) Governance, Health, and Administration Committee report
Ms. Mayberry reported that the GHA committee heard a report from Ms. Kinney on security upgrades to her office and election equipment. She mentioned padlocks for certain areas and cameras that are going to be installed for security purposes. If there are any questions, County Board members can talk to Ms. Kinney at full board when they see her.
The committee heard update from Mr. Ross on an MOU from AFSCME 2371 that would increase the pay rate for RNs and LPNs at Hope Creek to be in line with local rates, which is what Mr. L. Moreno was just referring to. Ms. Mayberry gave a quick overview of Mr. Ross’s notes on that: they all know there is a nursing shortage and high costs for agency nursing staff and overtime. This MOU brings new hire RNs and LPNs to the area average and reduces the amount of vacation time they receive. That’s just an update on that.
The committee recommended approval of a Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation for Rock Island County. Mr. Mielke brought that forth. Mr. Mielke noted that the proclamation is localized. He thought it was important to emphasize Hispanic heritage here in Rock Island County, so he mentioned Hero Street and Floreciente. That would be in effect from September 15 through October 15. He’s not sure why, but it has always been that way. Ms. Mayberry noted that they are voting on it this month at full board so it’s already implemented by the time it rolls around. Mr. L. Moreno said the only reason he can imagine why it’s that way is September 15 is like the Fourth of July for Latin America. That’s when the celebration begins.
Ms. O’Brien noted that she was listening in when Mr. Ross was talking about the nursing changes in pay. She believes she heard him say new hires will have a higher starting rate but less vacation and when he talked to AFSCME about current staff, they said to keep it the same. They don’t want to give up any vacation. Ms. Mayberry said that is correct. Ms. O’Brien explained that there will be two groups of employees under the contract. She wants to make sure people understand that and hopes she is stating it correctly. Ms. Mayberry said that was her understanding. She believes that was their choice for the existing current employees. Mr. Vyncke offered a point of clarification that this has not been ratified by the union yet. It’s not finalized yet. It’s still in negotiations. Ms. Mayberry
confirmed. Mr. Brunk said he thinks it’s at the Executive Committee level, but has not been taken to the full membership. Ms. Mayberry said it hasn’t been signed.
11) Public Works & Facilities Committee report
Mr. Burns reported that Public Works and Facilities met on Monday July 10, 2017. The committee considered ZBA cases as follows and recommended approval of all: RZ-17- 110, Steve Hale, Ag-2 to SE-1 in Bowling Township and RZ-17-111, Mark and Patricia Montgomery, SE-1 to SE-2 in Bowling Township.
The committee recommended approval of participation in the Annual Children’s Safety Expo Touch a Truck event. The committee considered repairs to the front elevator at a total cost of $12,580 not including reinstallation by KONE. The committee recommended repairing the elevator and forwarded its recommendation to the Finance and Personnel Committee. The committee recommended approval pending State’s Attorney approval of the agreement with Strada Communications LLC to run fiber optic line on County Highway 2. The committee discussed options for mold abatement in the county building and recommended purchasing ozone air purifiers and conducting duct cleaning. The committee forwarded its recommendation to the Finance and Personnel Committee.
Ms. O’Brien noted that they have all heard stories about the air conditioning not working at the jail. She asked if that was part of Mr. Burns’s committee’s discussion or if that is the wrong committee. Mr. Burns said the Sheriff is in charge of that. Ms. O’Brien said she’s curious if they have knowledge of how that’s going. Mr. Brunk asked if the Chairman has any comments on the AC across the street. Mr. Maranda said the Sheriff stopped over today with bids. It’s in the range of about $125,000. Ms. O’Brien said that’s encouraging because it was more than that in the newspaper. Mr. Burns said they were talking $200,000 in the paper. Mr. Maranda said whatever it takes, it’ll get fixed. Ms. O’Brien said she just wanted to know because people may ask her.
12) Approval of County Board agenda
Mr. Brunk said there is one correction to the County Board agenda. There is one additional appointment of Mr. Harry Coin to the Quad Cities Economic Development Authority. Mr. Maranda said there might be two. He got one out of Springfield the other day for the QCREDA. That’s a seven county board. The governor appoints and the chairman appoints. It’s the governor and the chairmen of seven counties. Mr. Brunk said he’s looking for approval with potentially two additional appointments.
Motion to approve with additional appointments: Brian Vyncke
2nd: Mia Mayberry, Kim Callaway-Thompson
Ms. Mayberry asked what Senator Anderson is coming to speak on. Mr. Maranda said he’s just taking questions basically. He’ll probably give an update to the best of his knowledge where things are at and take questions. It’s just like when Reps. Halpin and
McCombie were here. Sen. Anderson wanted to get on here a few months ago but his schedule wouldn’t do it, so they got him on July and he can make that meeting. Ms. Mayberry said this may be a good opportunity to discuss some issues they’ve discussed tonight when he’s here next week. Ms. O’Brien suggested checking his scheduling because he was going to come to Coal Valley and he missed. It was in their minutes and in the newspaper that he was a no-show because of a mistake. Mr. Mielke said no, he was supposed to be at that. Ms. O’Brien said it was in the newspaper. Ms. O’Brien noted that he admitted it was an error. Mr. Mielke said he was supposed to cohost that, but there was a mistake apparently.
Mr. Westpfahl asked about item number one, the public hearing. He asked what that will entail and if they’ll just let everyone stand up here and talk and talk and talk. Mr. Maranda said he’ll take a look at the crowd and go from there. Mr. Westpfahl noted that they have had hearings before and they’re going to hear the same thing from one side or the other. He thinks they need to limit it. Mr. Maranda said he’ll see how many are here and can go to three minutes like the public comment. He’ll take them as they come. Mr. Mielke noted that it begs the question that maybe they shouldn’t have had it at the same time as the County Board meeting. Ms. Callaway-Thompson had a public meeting and it went very well. There was limited attendance, but the people there were very engaged. He hopes they’re going to be as engaged at this meeting.
Ms. Mayberry asked if it’s going to be like a typical public comment, not a Q&A. She asked if people will make comments and the County Board members will listen. Mr. Maranda said it’s wide open. Ms. Mayberry asked if it’s going to be a back and forth, then. Mr. Mielke said it’s a forum. Mr. Maranda said if he sees they have 70 speakers and he runs his mouth quite a bit, and he hopes they get a room full, but he can limit to three minutes.
Mr. Brunk noted that it’s technically its own separate hearing. Following they call the meeting to order and do roll call for the actual County Board meeting.
Ms. Mayberry asked if it’s going to be like the Barstow meeting they had that was very much a back and forth where someone will be answering questions, like Mr. Ross will be answering questions. Mr. Swanson said he thought Mr. Ross’s anticipation is that it would be a chance for the public to offer comments and insights, but it’s not meant to be deliberative on the County Board’s part. They can clarify with him, but that’s what he got from his notes. It’s a chance for the public to state their impressions. He doesn’t anticipate decisions being made or.Ms. Mayberry said she thinks it should be clarified. People are possibly going to come here and expect a back and forth and to ask questions and have them answered as opposed to have three minutes to speak and that’s it. Mr. Brunk said there may be specific questions Mr. Ross may be able to answer, but he doesn’t envision an open, two-way discussion.
Ms. O’Brien said she’s not sure how Mr. Maranda will structure it, she assumes he’s running the hearing, but she suggests maybe having a form they fill out for public
comments and the subject they’ll talk about. Twenty people may want to talk about the exact same thing. When they stand up there, it could be three hours. Mr. Maranda said that’s what he’s talking about. Ms. O’Brien said if they have some structure with an outline on a form for them to fill out, Mr. Maranda could look through those. Mr. Maranda said there is a public comment form. It’s just an open hearing. Ms. O’Brien said they’re not going to have any structure, then. They’re just come up and talk for a time frame. Mr. Terry noted that it’s fewer doors to knock.
Ms. Callaway-Thompson said they need to be very clear at the outset how it’s going to go. Ms. O’Brien agreed.
Mr. Mielke said he envisions this to be not making decisions, but getting input. That was the prime directive he understood. It’s a forum. He envisioned that if they want to comment they can, but they are not making decisions. He thinks Mr. Ross might have ideas to share. He was at the Moline City Council meeting that started at 6:30 last night and he left at 9:45, so sorry, but they need to buck up.
Ms. O’Brien said she doesn’t go to City Hall very often, but she went there for a public comment for a fireman’s issue a couple years ago and as she was standing with the mic to make her public comment, one of the Councilmen called the question and she was ignored. She’s hoping the County Board won’t do that. She said whatever they do, to make sure they are more courteous to the public than they were to her at City Hall. Mr. Maranda said there’s no question and no action. Ms. O’Brien said she’s just saying she had comment for two minutes and didn’t even get two seconds. Mr. Mielke said that’s not right.
Mr. Brunk said he thinks between the Chairman and Mr. Ross, they can go into the hearing with a set structure and make sure it’s organized and not a free for all, but they give the public an opportunity to give their input. Ms. O’Brien said, “And respect.”
Ms. Callaway-Thompson added that they need to make it clear that they have invited the public to make comments, submit questions, and contact representatives, so she thinks they should definitely just at the outset have some structure to all of this.
Mr. Maranda said he’s going to repeat himself. He’ll take a look at the crowd. If he sees 100 people here to make a comment, he will set a time limit. If there’s six or seven, he may go to five minutes. It’ll be just like Ms. Callaway-Thompson’s. He thought she conducted hers very well.
13) The Committee of the Whole may vote to enter into Closed Session for the following:
• 5 ILCS 120/2(c) (1) – The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity.
• 5 ILCS 120/2(c) (2) – Collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees.
• 5 ILCS 120/2(c) (11) – Litigation, when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probably or imminent, in which case the basis for the finding shall be recorded and entered into the minutes of the closed meeting.
There was no additional closed session.
14) Board member opportunity for brief comments (no decisions will be made)
Ms. Mayberry noted that she meant to bring this up at GHA on Monday, but she attended a service on Memorial Day in front of the courthouse. She doesn’t know if any of the County Board members have attended before, but if they’ve never stopped and checked out the monuments out there, they’ve got some really cool historic monuments in front of the courthouse. She meant to bring it up before, but whatever decisions they make going forward with the courthouse, she asked to make sure those are in some way preserved. She wanted to put that in everyone’s mind.
Ms. O’Brien said she wanted mention that the Hennepin Hoopla was mentioned during the committee meeting. She is volunteering at that event with her little sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters. It is on Saturday August 12 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. It’s free, family friendly, and beautiful. That starts at Big Island and will be a lot of fun. If anyone wants to volunteer, let her know.
Mr. Mielke noted that since Ms. Mayberry mentioned this, if he understands correctly the renaming of Centennial Bridge is next Monday at 1:00. Mr. Maranda said that’s correct. Mr. Brunk said it’s being named in memory or in honor of Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot. Mr. Mielke said he believes that’s at the same location. Ms. O’Brien said she saw that in the paper.
Mr. Deppe asked if they could do a moment of silence before the prayer at County Board for Mr. Austin. Ms. Callaway-Thompson said she was going to ask that too.
Meeting adjourned at 6:34 p.m. by Chair Richard Brunk.