Peoria County Ways and Means Committee met March 28.
Peoria County Ways and Means Committee met March 28.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
Members Present: Allen Mayer - Chairman; Steven Rieker - Vice Chairman; James Fennell, Brad Harding, Phillip Salzer, William Watkins, Jr., Sharon Williams - Committee Members
Others Present: Scott Sorrel - County Administrator; Shauna Musselman - Assistant County Administrator; Larry Evans - State's Attorney's Office; Andrew Rand - County Board Chairman; Randy Brunner, Kim Hudson - Finance; Beth Derry - Regional Office of Education; Steve Sonnemaker - County Clerk; Dave Ryan - Supervisor of Assessments; Rick Salisbury - Board of Review; Tom Bride - Election Commission; Nicole Demetreas - Treasurer; Kent Rotherham - Auditor; Doug Gaa - Sheriff's Office
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Mayer at 1:00 p.m.
Approval of Minutes:
A motion to approve the minutes of February 28, 2017 was made by Mr. Watkins and seconded by Mr. Fennell. The motion carried.
Informational Items/Reports/Other Minutes/Updates:
Mr. Rotherham noted that he has donated back over $4,000.00 of his salary to date, and in the next week will have donated back over $6,000.00 in salary. He stated that he is increasing his familiarity with the Pentamation system in order to better review invoices and purchase orders. He advised that several upcoming projects include the bidding process, detail and approval of invoices and the p-card system. He also will review purchase orders, packing lists and signed invoices, particularly within the Health Department.
Mr. Sonnemaker advised the tax extension process has begun, and will be transferred to the Treasurer's Office by mid-April.
Peoria County Election Commission
Mr. Bride advised that the Consolidated General Election will be held next Tuesday. Early voting and vote by mail began February 23rd, with over 650 early voters to date. He stated that of 950 ballots mailed, approximately 400 have been returned to date.
Mr. Bride explained the process in the event of a contested race; the step that primarily involves the Election Commission is a request for a discovery recount, whereby a request can be made of up to 25% of the precincts involved in the district. He stated that there is a cost of $10.00 to the candidate. He advised that a discovery recount is informational only, and results would not change based on the recount.
Mr. Sorrel provided a brief update on the status of the Election Commission facility. He advised that staff has met with the owner of the building and presented him with a list of compliance issues. The owner is agreeable to remedying those issues, and the State's Attorney's Office will convene with the owner next week for a progress report. Mr. Sorrel stated that the owner is aware that if the issues are not addressed in a timely manner, the County will cease rent payment.
Mr. Brunner advised that external auditors will be arriving with the month. He noted that 96% of a $1.2 million receivable booked in 2016 was received last week.
Regional Office of Education (ROE)
Ms. Derry provided an update on activities of the Regional Office of Education:
• The Office still has not received some State funding from FY 2016, and noted the Office is owed $1.5 million on of its grants.
• Staff continues to hold all non-essential expenses for FY 2017 until such time as cash flow improves. Payroll has been projected out to June 30, 2017; however, after that date some positions may not be funded.
• The Arts in Education Spring Celebration will begin mid-April and run through late May.
• Ms. Derry advised that she sits on the governing board for Healthy HOI, focusing on the two pillars of mental health and sexual/reproductive health
• Ms. Derry advised she takes part in the Restorative Justice Program
• Ms. Derry advised that she attends CBCT (Cognitively Based Compassion Training), as a means of being resourceful in exhibiting compassionate responses
Supervisor of Assessments/Board of Review
• Tax Cycle
Mr. Ryan advised that figures received from the Department of Revenue on 2017 equalization factors show that those numbers are beginning to flatten out; urban areas in particular as far as assessments compared to sale prices. He stated that new construction may assist in positive numbers moving forward.
Mr. Ryan advised that commercial assessments appear to be flattening as well, although they are harder to judge as there are so few commercial sales. He explained that the Department of Revenue compares assessments on a three year average to sales prices to determine equalization factors.
Mr. Ryan advised that staff is coordinating with the County Clerk's and Treasurer's Offices to ensure a timely disbursement of tax bills.
• Board of Review
Mr. Salisbury advised that it will be necessary to seat two Democrats on the Board of Review in June. He noted that the Board will be losing its two commercial experts, and requested that replace the vacancies with qualified individuals with commercial experience.
Ms. Demetreas advised that lists for garbage fees and municipal liens have been received from the City of Peoria. The lists have been reviewed and forwarded to the County Clerk.
Ms. Demetreas advised that a meeting with a local bank has been scheduled for next week in order to perform a back office review of processes and to ensure that any and all efficiencies are being utilized. She also stated that a review of segregation of duties and recommendations for improvement will also be performed.
Ms. Demetreas advised that staff is assisting the Auditor's Office with the purchase card program and the Planning & Zoning Department with the buy-out program and payments to title companies.
Veteran's Assistance Commission
Mr. Sorrel advised that staff is currently tracking 17 bills, focusing on those bills that the County and/or City have requested direct and position support, as well as other legislation of interest to the County. He advised that staff is working with Representative Gabel on HB 678 (Juvenile Court Hearings), and stated that staff continues to be opposed to the bill as filed.
Mr. Mayer advised that the Representative Spain sponsored HB 2428 (Erroneous Homestead Exemptions) has passed unanimously out of the House Revenue Committee, although amendments may be demanded.
• Monthly Delinquent Taxes A motion to approve was made by Mr. Salzer and seconded by Mr. Fennell. The motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned by Chairman Mayer at 1:36 p.m.