Will County Democratic Caucus Committee met March 12.
Will County Democratic Caucus Committee met March 12.
Here is the minutes as provided by the Committee:
I. CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL
Minority Whip Lauren Staley-Ferry called the meeting to order at 6:15 PM
Also Present: B. Adams, K. Burke and N. Palmer.
Present from State's Attorney Office: K. Meyers.
II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG
Mrs. Summers led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
IV. OLD BUSINESS
V. NEW BUSINESS
1. Discussion: Forest Preserve
Mrs. Staley-Ferry asked if anyone had any comments or questions regarding the
last Forest Preserve meeting. I believe the attorneys are going to look at
everything and report at the next meeting.
No one had any questions.
2. E-Mail Usage
Mrs. Staley-Ferry stated this was added to insure we are all on the same page
regarding using our county e-mail addresses. The direction is that we should all try
to use our county e-mail which is the preferred method.
ASA Meyers stated you have an official e-mail to stop any conflicts you may have.
At a certain point those things are subject to the freedom of information act. If
you are going to conduct business with your personal e-mail then you open it up
to me and everyone else.
Mrs. Adams stated there were a few board members that I have not spoken with
in this regard. When you are there on Tuesday, we will have Adam make sure you
can pull the county e-mail up on the i-pad so you have access to it.
Mr. Marcum stated I use my county e-mail for everything but notifications that
Mrs. Adams advised that is what we are going to change. We also know Mrs.
Summers uses the county e-mail for the general public but when we send out
notices through the board office we are sending it through your personal e-mail.
We will make that change as well.
Mrs. Adams stated Mr. Moran is the only remaining member that needs changing.
3. Naco Legislative Conference Reports - Added
Mrs. Staley-Ferry stated Mrs. Winfrey provided some comments which were
distributed to the board members regarding the NACo conference. This is what I
was thinking we would do. A couple of bullet points that you found were valuable
and thought we should share and hopefully move forward within the county.
Mrs. Winfrey reviewed the NACo notes she distributed and are now part of the
minutes. I sit on the Large Urban Caucus (LUCC) and the Community, Economic
and Workforce Development Committee. I am vice-chair on both of those
committees. For both of those a big concern is CDBG funding, PILT, municipal
bonds and ACA, corporal capital and the funding going forward. For all the
committees across the board, opioids, the drug crisis and the fact they are coming
into rural areas is a big concern. Another item is the homelessness issue in a lot of
cities. We are starting to see more and more of that as people lose their homes
and people needing medicines and can't get them. Medicare, Medicaid was the
impact on the jail system because some counties allow that to follow the person
into the jail and some counties are paying the bill even though the person hasn't
been convicted yet.
Mrs. Winfrey continued reviewing the information sheet previously provided.
Mrs. Winfrey advised in April, I will be on the Healthy Counties Forum in Hartford,
Connecticut for NACo and Aetna. I sit on the board of the Health Department but I also sit on the board of the Free Clinic and the Center for Independent Living
which works with disabled people so because of all this, I will be one of the panels
in the forum in April.
Mrs. Winfrey advised all of the presentations and handouts are available on
Mrs. Staley-Ferry stated I will speak with Suzanne Hart and have spoken with
Ragan Freitag about putting something together that we can share at the
Legislative Committee. We want relative information that we can share so just
send me the information and I will work with Suzanne Hart and Ragan Freitag to
develop a presentation that can be part of the April Legislative Committee
4. Discussion of County Board Agenda
VI. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Land Use & Development
Mrs. Staley-Ferry stated Land Use is this week. There is a resolution for the Sugar
Run Creek Area Neighborhood Plan.
No further discussion.
Mr. Palmer stated #2-Resolution 17-68 under Finance is about reimbursement to
the Public Building Commission for Project Expenses. County Executive and County
Board staff had spoken to Mr. Fricilone and some of the other board members
about $300,000.00 outstanding expenses to Sunny Hill for the project. This is
partially due to the fact that money goes to the PBC which is not earmarked so
when they get money they spend it on the bills that are on hand. They needed
additional money for project expenses that bills are outstanding. The suggestion
by staff and supported by Mr. Fricilone was using capital money from the
corporate fund that is under the County Board's direct control rather than pulling
money out of Sunny Hill for the PBC's reserve funds. All the money that goes to
PBC or is in capital comes from the same spot. The County Board sets levies and
collect revenue from other sources and work with the County Executive to pass
budgets. It is county money, you are authorizing it and the bills are getting paid.
Mrs. Staley-Ferry reviewed the remaining resolutions.
Mr. Palmer advised the authorizing of United Way is Waste Management money
we receive because of our Laraway landfill. This money comes in as a charitable
donation. The board decided a few years ago that rather than recreate the whole
apparatus that United Way uses to vet potential participants, the county is just
sending the money to them. There are limitations on what county funds, even the
charitable funds, can be spent on. Those limitations are in place and Mr. Hennessy
is aware of them. This is in addition to what our employees contribute and because of their generosity, the county had to set a limit of $25,000.00.
Mrs. Winfrey stated this is in addition to the money going to District 8.
There were no further questions.
Public Works & Transportation
Mrs. Adams stated there will be a presentation regarding the 2040 plan.
There was no further discussion.
Public Health & Safety
Mrs. Staley-Ferry advised there was the laundry equipment replacement for Sunny
Legislative & Policy
Mrs. Winfrey advised they have not had their meeting yet.
Mr. Palmer advised there is the wetlands mitigation.
Mrs. Adams stated we changed the resolution so it spelled out that it is coming
out of the capital projects fund 314, construction contingency line item. There is
$1.7 in there for these types of issues. It is not out of corporate capital, it is out of
the public safety funds for the project.
Mrs. Adams advised that Mr. Moustis asked ASA Tatroe if it needed a change
order for the contract and she sent an e-mail stating no because it is separate and
broken out. The spreadsheet is attached that shows the $1.7 in there for the
Mr. Palmer advised #1, Resolution 17-79 is merely an extension for a couple of
months with Ann Schneider who is the project manager for our freight study. We
will probably bring back next month or the following month a contract proposal
for her to stay on as a retainer to help with implementation of the plan and
obtaining other funds. This is all tied to the freight mobility plan.
Mrs. Adams stated this agreement will be done as an addendum to the original
contract similar to what we do with Smith Dawson.
Mrs. Winfrey stated for #2, Resolution 17-80 for the architectural contractor, our
first choice is Kluber and they presented very well. They are a company that did
work in DuPage or Kendall. People from the Health Department has seen their
work and the layout and it is exactly what they wanted. They have worked with
Health Departments and not just medical facilities. One of their requirements was there be a construction manager and that person be named early in the process
because that is their preferred way to work. An offer through the Executive's
Office is being extended to them. If they accept that will be it.
Mrs. Winfrey advised our second choice was Legat Architects and third was Nagle
Mr. Palmer explained the board recommends 3 names, the County Executive is
charged with negotiating a contract and scope. We will negotiate the scope in
conjunction with board and committee leadership and then we will bring it back
to the board for approval.
Mrs. Adams stated Ms. Weiss notified them.
Mr. Palmer stated #3, Resolution 17-81 is regarding the Trinity Building also
known as 62 West Washington Street, Joliet. It is being bought so we have control
of all of the property south of the 1st Midwest Building. It may be used by staff
during construction or county staff in the interim when we tear down 1st Midwest
and start building the courthouse. That is yet to be determined. The cost is
Mr. Palmer stated #4, Resolution 17-82 is being worked on actively. Our hope is by
Thursday we will have the IGA finalized. This is with the City of Joliet and the
sewer and water project out at Laraway. Joliet's ordinances require that people
who are in their system be part of the City of Joliet. They have the ability to allow
you to not annex into the City of Joliet and this is spelling it all out formally. It has
a provision that allows for them to come and ask us to petition for apportion
annexation because there is development there, Laraway and 52, southwest
Mrs. Winfrey provided background on other IGA's with the City of Joliet. We have
finally agreed on 121 Chicago Street and the parking lot, how we will open up the
downtown and we will manage the parking lot. All of this is a joint effort between
the County and the City of Joliet.
Mr. Palmer stated in April we may want to review the timeframe. There are some
logistical challenges how the timing of all of this converges. City of Joliet is
updating their sewer systems around the courthouse current and the new
courthouse to handle the new courthouse. There will be 4 or 5 months possibly
where that courthouse lot will be completely shut down as they do the
construction on Chicago Street and reconfiguring the lot.
Mr. Palmer reviewed #5, Resolution 17-83 regarding the right of way Amazon is to
acquire to accommodate the turn lanes. BP has a pipeline there that has nothing
to do with the Amazon project. Mr. Ferry arrived at this juncture.
ASA Meyers advised it is within the corporate limits of Monee but the issue is that
they need to connect and have entrance to highways. That is our role. Essentially
you have a series of easements and right of way that are conflicting with each
other. We need to assure that we don't lose any legal rights or preferences on our
right of way and making sure that once we take over maintenance of these turn
lanes, etc. that we don't have BP or some other assignee shut down the road.
Mr. Palmer stated if all of this can be worked out by Thursday, it is possible it will
Mrs. Adams advised we put it on the agenda should they be ready to move
Discussion continued regarding this issue.
Mr. Palmer stated regarding #7, Resolution Voiding Bid for ERP System in Will
County, our plan was to go with a non-cloud base system. The big issue was we
weren't allowing for cloud base which we received a lot less bidders. Those
bidders who did respond had a lot of exceptions so we are voiding this and reissue
with some clarifications in the RFP and will allow for cloud base. McHenry County
received quite a few more bids. That is the future and the security is there. We
want to get the best price and the best product because this is a long term
#8-Resolution 17-86 Replacement Hires-Purchasing Department
Mr. Palmer stated when we, the County Executive's office, brings replacement
hires forward it is because we believe they are needed. Rita Weiss is only one. We
are very lean. She has gone a long time without this position filled. We don't bring
appointments, we don't bring hires forward unless we think they are necessary.
We will let positions stay vacant for a while to accumulate some savings. It allows
when someone leaves for pay outs and since our budgets are lean, we don't have
Mrs. Winfrey stated other departments are doing the same.
#9-Resolution 17-87 Will County Public Building Commission
Mr. Palmer explained the Public Building Commission is a separate entity.
Appointed officials, 3 by the county, 2 by the city and their projects have been
brought to the county. There is an issue with River Valley, they bonded for that
when we constructed it about 20 years ago. Kankakee paid their last payment at the end of last year. We are moving forward with how to wrap the bonds from
that, close them out and then pursue other scenarios. Ray Fricke is the county's
bond counsel which includes the Public Building Commission. The decision was
made by Mr. Moustis to direct the Public Building Commission to fund the bond
counsel. The county gives direction to the PBC. Sometimes the PBC has spent
money on their own without getting direction which legally they can do but
usually the county board gives them direction. This resolution is for the bond
counsel so he can advise the county board, the county PBC and ultimately our
relationship with Kankakee County on handling these bond close outs.
Mr. Palmer advised Kankakee County owes Will County money for the physical
maintenance of the building which is approximately $300,000.00 that they have to
pay us this year. They also in arrears about $700,000.00 currently that will grow
about $70,000.00 per month just for the operation, salaries, etc. of the River
Valley. They are at $1 million and growing that they owe us. Kankakee County is in
a bad situation. We have engaged Kankakee County and come up with creative
ways to rectify their debt and also deal with the long term ownership of River
Valley. Kankakee owns 25%, we own 75% and we share the operational costs at a
different percentage. We have done a lot of improvements to the physical facility.
Mrs. Staley-Ferry asked if there were any further questions to which there were
VII. OTHER NEW BUSINESS
Mrs. Adams stated it has come to our attention that a lot of County Board members do
not know that the County Board has a Facebook page. It is available through the County
Board website and is maintained by Mack Communications. There are the links for the
public safety videos, then the county board videos and then right below that is the
Facebook page. Ms. Freitag has asked if you have anything going on in your district or
things you are doing in your district, send an e-mail to her and if you have pictures or
anything like that she and Sara can post it on the Facebook page. These are non-political
events. We don't do a lot of the Eagle Scouts at the board meeting anymore but we do
certificates for you from your district which you can take to the Court of Honor for them.
VIII. CHAIRMAN'S REPORT/ANNOUNCEMENTS
IX. PUBLIC COMMENT
X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
1. Motion to Adjourn at 7:15 PM