Macon Reporter

Macon Reporter

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Macon County Operations & Personnel Committee met August 19

By Angelica Saylo Pilo | Oct 11, 2019


Macon County Operations & Personnel Committee met Aug. 19.

Here is the agenda provided by the committee:


Bryan Smith, Vice Chair Grant Noland

Patty Cox

John Jackson


Linda Little, Chair Rachel Joy

Bill Oliver


Carol Reed, Auditor

Mary Eaton, Recorder

Josh Tanner, County Clerk

Rocki Wilkerson, Workforce

Jennifer Gunter, P&Z

Kevin Greenfield, County Board Chairman

Jeannie Durham, County Board Office

The meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Bryan Smith at the Macon County Office Building.


Motion to approve minutes of prior meeting (6/24/19) made by Ms. Cox, seconded by Mr. Jackson and motion carried 4-0. Note: The July meeting was cancelled.


Motion to approve payroll as presented made by Ms. Cox, seconded by Mr. Jackson and the motion carried 4-0.

Motion to approve claims as presented made by Ms. Cox, seconded by Mr. Jackson and the motion carried 4-0.


Auditor’s Office –

Ms. Reed reported that we have been asked if we’d like to join CIRMA, which is County of Illinois Risk Management. It is made up of 20 member counties. They offer a pool for the liability insurance. Mr. Greenfield, Ms. Little and Ms. Reed met with Kelly Murray from CIRMA. Ms. Reed said they think it is a pretty good opportunity for us to lower either our deductible on general liability insurance or premiums or both. This could be a win win situation for us. They also offer other things like help with the employee handbook, the new cannabis law, and different things we might be able to take advantage of that we currently don’t have. There will be more about this later. She said they would be making an application to get it going.

Vice Chair Smith asked if this was only for general liability. Ms. Reed explained yes, general liability. They also offer workers comp but we are self-insured and so will probably stick with that, but we think the general liability and everything that goes with that such as employment practices will be a good fit.

County Board – FY20 Budget Presentation

Mr. Greenfield explained that revenues were cut by $12,000 to include $10,000 from reimbursement of supplies in the print shop, $1,000 in windfarm permits & $1,000 in the miscellaneous just to make that more realistic.

The union contract raises and allowance for Leap Day explain the increase in the 5000 lines The print shop was cut $20,000 due to changes in how the copy paper is supplied. He also said that the paper used in the past was a recycled paper, but the cost is more. Environmental Management was making up the difference in the cost which comes to about $2,600 a year.

At the end of the day, it is about a $6,586 cut or about 2%. Mr. Greenfield said there is nowhere else to go to cut much more.

Currently Jeannie, Tracy & Jennifer in the County Board / Planning & Zoning office are doing the printing for the county, but as the print shop equipment gets older, he thought we might want to look at possibly outsourcing it. Right now, the equipment is running good and its working well. Until that happens, we’ll just keep on going like we are.

Motion to forward the proposed FY20 budget on to the Finance Committee made by Ms. Cox, seconded by Mr. Jackson, and the motion carried 4-0.

Chairman Greenfield went on to report that he had been meeting with the Health Department on a regular basis trying to get the issues with the restaurants worked out.

Otherwise, just getting into the budgets and working with the office holders trying to see where cuts can be made so we can get as close to a balanced budget as we can.

County Clerk –

Macon County Board Resolution Approving Contract Between the Macon County Clark and Liberty Systems LLC

Mr. Tanner explained that the contract shows a slight increase over 4 years. Four years ago, we signed a contract with Liberty and this contract would last four years. The increase is $3,960 over the 8 years. That is not much of an increase. They handle all of the various kit bags, software, pre-printed applications, etc. The contract would come down some in the event that we are able to consolidate precincts after the 2020 census when we would redistrict. So, if we have less precincts, then the price would come down. There is a chance for this to get smaller if either, the state law allows the precincts to get larger or we have lost population in certain areas and we consolidate those precincts. He said he could not imagine it going to much less than 72 unless there is a change to the law. We are losing population, but not that much. The contract itemizes everything that is included. It is paid in quarterly installments and we can break the contract with 30 days written notice for any reason if we are unsatisfied with their services.

Vice Chair Smith asked if they do all the internet posting. Mr. Tanner confirmed that they do. He said he had just had a conversation with them today about that based on recent events. He said all web venders have been contacted and asked to make sure they are applying all the right patches because of the defacing of the Circuit Clerk’s website over the weekend.

Motion to approve forwarding the resolution on to the Finance Committee made by Ms. Cox, seconded by Mr. Jackson, and the motion carried 4-0.

FY20 Budget Presentation

001-030 – General County Clerk Budget

Based on conversations with the Chairman and Finance Committee, all of the variable expenses related to elections have been moved into the 001-031 account and all the fixed expenses for the County Clerk’s office have been moved into the 001-030 account so that for next year’s budget season and at the end of each year, we are not doing a lot of moving around and a lot of changes in the fixed expenses will not be seen. In the 5000 lines, the union positions have been rolled into one line item and the union employee salaries and insurance line items from the 031 account have been brought over to the 030 account. There is a $70,000 increase in the salary lines that is offset in the 031 account by a decrease. The union contractual raise had to be included. The only other salary line items change is the 065 account used to have a clerk typist which was moved out. Part of the Chief Deputy’s salary was moved into the 065 automation account. The reason for that is in the event that a fee study is done or if we are able to charge more fees in the future, there needs to be a requisite number of expenses in there so that you can put additional revenue too. The possibility of putting more expenses into the 065 account which is an automation account, a non- general fund account, you have to put someone with a higher salary in there to put more expenses in there.

Between the two general fund accounts, 030 & 031, there is an increase of $105,000 which is essential the second election. This is also a presidential election so the turnout will be the highest you’re going to get. This does not account for any law changes that may come about because of mail imbalance. There were a number of proposed bills over the summer that would require the Clerk’s office to mail a ballot to anyone who was a registered voter, which would be incredibly expenses since we have 75,000 of those. There were some bills that required a ballot be mailed to anyone who requested a mail-in ballot in the 2018 election. That would be 3,000. Any of those things that happen would cost more money if they require us to automatically mail in ballots. Mr. Tanner said he has estimated 3,000 because that is how many people requested a ballot in 2018. There could be more or less. Mail in ballots are incredibly expensive. There were also some laws that were opposed that would require us to pay the postage both ways. None of those passed, but that is still out there in the veto session. The Association opposes that because of the expense.

The association is also not largely in favor of mail in ballots as a general rule because you have two weeks to receive the ballot after election day, so if you start approaching 20% to 30% of your ballots as mail in ballots, you will not know who the winner is on election night. There will be too many outstanding ballots and situations similar to the sheriff’s race where one person on election day is leading by what used to be considered a wide margin, but after all the mail in ballots are received and the provisional ballots are counted, the results could change. That is why we don’t favor them, but right now it is state law that anyone that requests a mail in ballot, gets one.

Ms. Cox asked the reason for the office supply line on the 031 account to go up $80,000. Mr. Tanner explained that the Liberty Contract is paid out of this line. He said it is called office supplies and would be ok with changing the description, but all the supplies that Liberty provides such as the paper and related materials are considered office supplies. In the old contract, the 2019 election would have been covered, but in the new contract, the 2021 & 2023 primaries are not covered. There has not been a municipal primary in a long time, so in an effort to keep the contract price low, but level, the municipal primaries were not included. So, if we do have a municipal primary, there would be additional expense. We just have not had one in quite a while. They did pass a law that requires a much higher threshold, but it requires more candidates before it triggers a primary.

The bad news is that it is $100,000 more than last year, but this year, as seen on the 031 account, the amount that was budgeted and the amount that is actually spent shows about a $40,000 difference because there was no municipal primary. This is the budget for FY20 and it will be flat going forward. In the odd years, it will be reduced by half on the miscellaneous and drayage line in the 031, the election judges and potentially the legal advertising and postage because those are variable expenses. If we have one election, we only have to pay the election judges once, if we have two, we have to pay them twice. That is why those line items are only currently about 50% spent, because we only had one election in 2019. It is a lot of moving around, but the Finance Committee and Chairman of the Board requested that we present a realistic budget. In the past, the County Board has asked the previous County Clerk to just not budget for the primary. So, there would be some swings in the budget.

Motion to forward the proposed FY20 budget on to the Finance Committee made by Mr. Jackson, seconded by Ms. Cox, and the motion carried 4-0.

Ms. Cox asked about the balance in the automation fund. Mr. Tanner said it is very little, around $5,000. He said he had transferred a higher salary into it, but a fee study would have to be done and potentially increase the fees to generate more revenue. He said he has looked at the old fee study and it is something worth considering in the next year or so so update that study and see if any of those need to be changed.

Recorder –

Ms. Eaton distributed monthly reports for June and July and offered to answer questions.

Ms. Cox asked how the numbers look. Ms. Eaton said they are down somewhat, but June and July were really good months. She said that with the slight decrease of interest rates, where they usually see some movement, they have seen a small amount.

FY20 Budget Presentation

General Fund 001-110

5000 lines – no change to Recorder’s salary, Chief & Assistant Chief got union contract increases

The health insurance figure was left in the general fund because the rest of that money is paid out of automation

7000 lines – a couple of increases and a couple of decreases where Ms. Eaton said she tried to move things around based on what has been going on in the office

8000 lines – office supplies – decreased due to document storage. A lot of those supplies can come out of that fund.

The bottom line almost matches last year’s.

Automation –

Increased up to $2,000. A few changes are being made in the office under the website and getting more documents online in an effort to push that out to the public to where if they can purchase the copies on the website, more money is made than when they walk into the office. She said they are gradually seeing, every month, an increase in those because more people are using the website. Another change where a special fee can be charged for one time use will be added to bring more revenue in.

5000 line – Chief Deputy remaining wages that are not paid via general fund Support staff covers the rest of the employees

No money was included in the budget for the plat book because there are still quite a few left over.

Document Storage -

Mr. Jackson asked about Line 7200 other expenditures in the document storage

Ms. Eaton explained that it includes computer venders, book binding, paper, etc.

9000 lines - $8,000 was added because Ms. Eaton said they are in process of looking at a machine that can scan the large books. There is no backup, but the books are used every day. They can be put online and possibly sell them to make revenue. The machine will be leased, not purchased. It is not yet clear about the cost and depending on the final decision, the money may or may not be used.

Motion to forward the proposed FY20 budget on to the Finance Committee made by Ms. Cox, seconded by Mr. Jackson, and the motion carried 4-0.

Ms. Cox asked about the balance in the automation fund.

Ms. Reed said there is about $16,000 in automation. Document Storage has $121,000.

Ms. Cox asked if the document storage could only be used for certain things.Ms. Eaton confirmed.

Workforce Investments –FY20 Budget Presentation

Ms. Wilkerson explained that Workforce is funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. It is a federal employment training program. The fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 versus the County’s fiscal year that runs from December 1 through November 30.

A summary which included a snapshot of the revenues and expenses was presented for the period of December, 2019 through November, 2020.

The allocation was $1,305,754. Money amounting to $384, 916 was carried forward from 2018 There was a decrease of $96,382 from the funding. So, the total amount was $1,789,670.

Special Grants –

Trades Adjustment Grant – was closed out in September Rapid Response Grant – was closed out in September

Richland has a workforce grant that was $65,000 last year. $60,000 is being projected for this year since it has not been finalized yet.

Incentive Grant - $9,387 based on getting people jobs. It is flexible Sector Based Grant – carried forward from a closed out zero balance

Put Illinois to Work Program – carried forward $30,000. That has been on the books for a while. Years ago that was earned by placing people to work. That is a just in case cushion.

Total revenue then comes to $1,889,057. That is a pretty good start

Expenditures –

Personnel – Staff wage & fringe expenses – 11 full time staff = $665,052 One staff member plans to retire in December after 30 years, so that figure could change.

Facility expenses – telephone, rent, computer, equipment rental, internet access, supplies, travel, etc = $336,886

Direct Expenses – goes on the customers – it is what is spent on them for vocational training, class training, on the job training (OJT), transportation, child care reimbursement, incumbent worker projects, youth in & out of school contracts, workman’s compensation for youth participants

Expenditures equal revenues.

Ms. Wilkerson went over the year in review. She distributed information and pointed out highlights.

The grants are all listed. There are two new grants.

The Opioid Grant was for $1.3 million. Macon County was one of four workforces selected to be funded, but we still don’t know what we will get for sure. The whole grant was $5.4 million and there are four workforces in the State of Illinois that will get a part.

Illinois Healthcare Sector Specialist Grant - $340,000 to use to hire retired RN’s so they could come back to Macon County to teach. They’d be given a contract for a year or two so that training could be started and people could be gotten back to work a lot faster than what has been happening.

Ms. Wilkerson said that the grants are good, but she thought it would get better in the next year. She just does not have concrete numbers yet.

Most of the money is going to health care training with a little to manufacturing and technical, very little on CDL training and even less on business and accounting.

They have a $60,000 contract with the Workforce Consortium and they are trying to grow it. This is when the people walk through the door, such as a public aid recipient who has never had a job before and is referred to the Bridge programs because they are free. That includes a week of work experience with it. It’s just trying to get people to learn how to go to work. That is a good partnership.

A breakdown of how many people are put through nursing school, how many people are put into healthcare training, & manufacturing was presented.

All the businesses that are the OJT (On the Job Training) businesses where people are paid to go to work at.

What is spent on tuitions and fees at places like Richland, Millikin and others was given. That total comes to $502,000. That is a lot of money being spent on training.

Another $32,000 is spent on things like uniforms, help with tutoring, help with boards, etc.

The two youth provider contracts, one with the City of Clinton which is in-school and Macon Piatt (ROE) is out of school. Another one, Boys & Girls Club, just needs approval through the Workforce Board, but that will make three agencies where youth will be recruited and trained for some type of work experience.

Vice Chair Smith asked how the businesses get involved in the OJT. Ms. Wilkerson said the businesses let Workforce know that they are interested and then has to map out skill sets that the individual will learn. Workforce pays up to 50% of their wages for sometimes up to 6 months, but they have to supply a plan showing what they will learn, who will supervise, and provide an evaluation on the back of each timesheet.

Money is set aside for work experiences. The Incumbent Worker Training Program with companies like Fuyua. They’ve got people they’ve hired, but yet they want higher skillsets, so Workforce trains and pays wages to get them the higher skillsets.

A lot of money is spent on supportive services such as transportation, child care, etc.

Customer Exit info shows Return on Investment. Adults completing Workforce programs earn a total of $1,455,000 in wages. The total allocation for the adult program was $687,000. Compared to that allocation, that is 211% return on our investment. She said they are taking that money and bringing it all the way around. That speaks volumes for what is being done and it is the same for the dislocated workers.

The biggest concern, again this year, the same as last year, shows 80% of the youth ages 14-24 are basic skill deficient which means that 80% of them cannot read or write at the 8th grade level and that is what is coming up in our community. That is a concern and that is why Ms. Wilkerson said she is working with the Boys & Girls Club, City of Clinton, ROE, & Homework Hangout because they are the ones that have a lot of those kids that are struggling.

Updates were given on some of the projects such as the healthcare fair, Strip Masters where Workforce got an award, and some success stories. It has been a busy year. It has been a good year. All in all, what has been accomplished in a year with the money and the fact that they have a chance to get another million, there is a good future ahead in trying to build a good workforce in this economy.

Motion to forward the proposed FY20 budget on to the Finance Committee made by Mr. Jackson, seconded by Ms. Cox, and the motion carried 4-0.

Citizen’s Remarks - none

Old Business - none

New Business –


NEXT MEETING: Monday, September 23, 2019


Motion to adjourn made by Mr. Jackson, seconded by Ms. Cox, the motion carried 4-0, and the meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m.

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