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November 8, 2011 / Administrator

Henry County Budget Votes- November 8, 2011

Here is the letter I sent to the whole Board and the Department Heads on November 2nd. This was after i tried to bring up these ideas at an October 18 Committee of the Whole meeting. I also voted to have an open meeting on October 25 to discuss these proposed spending cuts as an alternative to previously proposed (by the Finance Committee) personnel cuts.

From: Jon Zahm

Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 12:22:47 -0500

To: Tim Wells; Colleen Gillaspie

Subject: Budget Amendments

The following are budget cuts that I support and would like to offer as Amendments.

Please forward to all County Board members and department heads. I tried to bring these up at
the Committee of the Whole Budget meeting and the last Finance meeting

Page 5 Line 5030. Cut $8400 from County Board Travel and Meeting by eliminating mileage for
driving to and from the courthouse for county board meetings.

Page 9 Eliminate the Public Information Manager and related budget. Save $6,347

Page 10 ROE Line 5030 Save $7,000 by not raising travel and meeting budget, but cutting 2011 number by 20%

Page 10 ROE Line 5060 Rent. Work out reduction with Atkinson to $18,000 a year from $30,000 a year or move. Save $12,000

Page 12 Rent for Line 5060 in Elections. Who are we paying rent to? Use existing county space and save $4850.

Page 12 Election Judges Line 5330 Save 20% or $14,000 by Using 16-18 year old High School election judges per existing state program

Page 18 Sheriff overtime budget cut from $45,000 to 2011 level of $35,000 Save $10,000. Work on eliminating most of overtime even if it means hiring a new person or two.

Page 23 Look at cutting jury mileage by $10,000 plus by making it an opt-in program where jurors have to sign form to get paid mileage and have option to sign it back over the county earmarked to law enforcement budget.

Page 42 Look at freezing highway maintenance spending at $900,000 per 2011 levels rather than boost to $1 million in 2012. I understand that we cannot use MFT funds for anything else but doing the 90% most vital maintenance will relieve budget stress on men and equipment to perform the most essential 90% and some of the savings can be directed to personnel line item in highway department. Save $100,000

Page 47 Meeting expenses for Health Dept. line item 5033 should not be raised to $37,420, it should be lowered to $25,000. Save $12,420

Per Chairman Wells we should look at a 3 day a week schedule in Kewanee and 2 day a week schedule in Geneseo for the Circuit Clerk to save approx. $30,000 annually in personnel costs

Per Vice-Chairman Nelson we should look at fees we are charging for Special Use fees and make sure the county costs are covered

Per Member McCaw we should look at equipping our county vehicles with conversion kits that allow them to use flex fuels that are cheaper and will realize long term savings

I am available to meet in person with anyone Monday about these and will attend Finance Monday at 5 and Planning at 530. Before then I can be reached by phone and e-mail. I believe we need to cut every non-personnel expense we can before we even consider layoffs.

Jon Zahm

Henry County Board Member


cell 630-946-8683

I cannot support any of the budget proposals that are on the agenda today. They all have projected deficits of over $500,000. One is over S800,000 in the red. I cannot support cutting staff until we have cut every possible non-staff related budget item. We may need to go back to the drawing board and look deep at the proposed cuts I have suggested and other cuts that Board Chariman Wells and other board members have, or will, present.


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