Will County Democratic Caucus Committee met April 19.
Will County Democratic Caucus Committee met April 19.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
I. Call To Order / Roll Call
Minority Leader Herbert Brooks Jr. called the meeting to order at 8:47 am
Attendee Name; Title; Status; Arrived:
Herbert Brooks Jr. Minority Leader Present
Lauren Staley-Ferry Minority Whip Present
Mark Ferry Member Present
Kenneth E. Harris Member Present
Tyler Marcum Member Present
Donald A. Moran Member Late
Beth Rice Member Late
Laurie Summers Member Present
Jacqueline Traynere Member Late
Denise E. Winfrey Member Present
Present from State's Attorney's Office: K. Meyers.
II. Pledge Of Allegiance To The Flag
Mr. Harris led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
III. Approval Of Minutes
1. WC Democratic Caucus - Regular Meeting - Mar 15, 2018 8:45 AM
Result: Approved [Unanimous]
Mover: Tyler Marcum, Member
Seconder: Denise E. Winfrey, Member
Ayes: Brooks Jr., Staley-Ferry, Ferry, Harris, Marcum, Summers, Winfrey
Absent: Moran, Rice, Traynere
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Discussion of County Board Agenda
Mr. Brooks stated Mrs. Staley-Ferry will read the Proclamation from her desk.
Mrs. Traynere and Mrs. Rice arrived at this juncture.
Mr. Brooks continued CMAP will give a presentation.
Land Use & Development Committee:
Ms. Janine Farrell reviewed Resolution #18-83. PZC denied two variance requests for Mr. Jabaay and the Land Use & Development Committee concurred with PZC and did not overturn the denial.
Mrs. Summers stated she had a lot of questions that were not answered and asked to have this case sent back to Committee.
Finance Committee: No discussion.
Public Works & Transportation Committee:
Mr. Ferry reviewed the Resolutions and indicated the traffic signal on Carillon and Weber Road was removed from the agenda until Carillon sets their 2019 budget in June.
A brief discussion took place regarding the Resolution previously approved for the stop light.
Mr. Palmer introduced the CMAP members, Mr. Joe Zabo, Mr. Jessie Elem and Mr. Gordon Smith who will be making a presentation.
Mr. Zabo thanked everyone for allowing him to give a presentation and briefly introduced himself and his background. We try to make financing available with the limited resources we have. There is a crisis when it comes to infrastructure. Mr. Elem will talk about the focus we have on fixing the transportation assets and I-55 and I-80 are high priorities. Traveling out here today we came to a complete standstill on I-80 near Route 30. I-80 has to be a priority.
Mr. Brooks stated this week Mr. Palmer and Board Leadership met with a lot of the congressional delegations in DC. The meetings were very positive and good. I asked everyone for a check for I-80 and I-55.
Mr. Zabo stated we are in a tough period, with federal policies and the fiscal condition of the State. This is forcing us, in local government, to rely on our own wits and resources, which is not fun or easy. Currently, we don’t have alternatives.
Mr. Palmer stated last month Mary Jawarski’s appointment was tabled at the request of the Workforce. There was nothing about the candidate it was because of the change in the paperwork. Her appointment is on the table, but her paperwork was resubmitted with the other WIB appointments for May. I am checking to see if there is an urgency to getting her appointment approved or if we can do all of them in May. An explanation of the paperwork required by the State and the County paperwork was given.
Mr. Palmer continued the Metra appointment will be coming forward again this month. With appointments and hires, the County Executive does not submit a name unless he thinks they are worthy and qualified. We will see if this has the votes this month. I would recommend we get a vote up or down. It has been at least seven months since Will County had a representative on the Board. During the time we have not had a rep, Metra hired a new CEO, cut services and raised fares. Historically, Will County did not have a rep and we had to share it with the collar counties. Based on legislation in 2008, Will County got their own seat. We received feedback it is a joke we have an empty seat when all the big decisions are being made. We would like to see a vote of yes or no and move on. Will County residents are not being served by not having a representative.
Mrs. Traynere stated the Pace on shoulder numbers have improved because people have decide Metra is too expensive.
Mr. Palmer stated the Pace on the shoulder is succeeding because people find it convenient. Metra does not collect anywhere near the fare recovery. People pay less than half of the actual cost of the ride. It is a very subsidized system and that is why our system is not as good as others, because it is not funded appropriately. All of our transit systems are underfunded.
Mr. Harris asked if the Metra appointment is voted down, will another name be submitted?
Mr. Brooks replied yes and explained the appointment process.
Mr. Marcum reviewed the Joint Judicial and Public Health meeting regarding school safety. It was very informative on what schools do for safety. It sounds like there will be meetings throughout the community. There was a discussion on what schools do now and what we can do in the future. We talked about metal detectors. Joliet high schools had metal detectors I was a student.
Mr. Harris added the schools are taking the lead on these issues.
Mr. Brooks stated Mr. Contro said a lot of the municipalities are proactively doing their own programs.
Mr. Marcum stated in the county portion, the three Lincoln-Way high schools have a deputy.
Public Health & Safety Committee:
Ms. Staley-Ferry reviewed the Resolutions.
Legislative & Policy Committee: No discussion.
Capital Improvements Committee:
Ms. Winfrey reviewed the Resolution.
Mrs. Staley-Ferry added the old 121 Chicago Street building is coming down this week.
Mr. Brooks led a discussion on Resolutions #18-99 through #18-102.
Ms. Winfrey stated regarding Resolution #18-99, I would like to be made whole on the portion the County contributed to IMRF and have that added to the salary of County Board members going forward. I don’t believe the climate will allow us to raise the salaries, not because it is not needed, but people will not vote for it. I do believe the portion previously contributed by the County to IMRF should be added to the salary.
Mr. Moran arrived at this juncture.
Mrs. Traynere asked have we received the information on the IMRF contribution? Raises are something you earn or get annually, this is a salary adjustment based on cost of living, duties and 16 years without an increase. Sixteen years ago we were not building a new courthouse, Public Health facility and an interchange at Weber Road and I-55, all of these things require additional time.
Mr. Meyers reviewed how increases would be phased in, should it pass at each election cycle.
Mr. Brooks stated Resolutions #18-100 through #18-102 are for the County Clerk, Sheriff and Treasurer. Sheriff Kelley made a very good case of the comparables to other counties.
Ms. Winfrey stated Will County at 700,000 residents has more unincorporated residents than any of the other 102 counties, including Cook. Our Sheriff’s Department polices more people than any other Sheriff in the State of Illinois.
Mr. Brooks stated his salary is significantly below the collar counties.
Mr. Marcum stated at the Caucus we discussed making his salary the same as Kane County. And bringing the Clerk and Treasurer to $100,000.
Mr. Brooks added the Kane County Sheriff makes almost $125,000 per year. Going back to Resolution #18-99 we mentioned a salary adjustment amount of $5,000, bringing the salary to $28,000.
Ms. Winfrey stated my motion was for the portion of the IMRF contribution the County paid. As a minimum that would be my request. I would support $5,000. At the very least I would ask for an adjustment to the IMRF contributions. A majority of people will not vote in favor of the salary adjustment to $28,000 or even to $25,000.
Mr. Brooks stated as long as we stay on the agenda, this is the place to discuss how you feel. If the climate is different among this Caucus, this is the place to have the discussion.
Mrs. Traynere stated there are people in this room not supporting the motion Ms. Winfrey and I are supporting. Some are up for election and that might be the reason they are not supporting it. It is fair to say you are voting yes for the Resolution, not because you should be getting a raise, but because the position as it is written and responsibilities that go along with it; deserves to have a pay adjustment. A pay adjustment is not a raise. As long as we stay focused on the pay adjustment, and articulate why it is necessary; increased meetings and activities. The other option is to move all the meetings to evenings, then it is not an issue. I am going to talk about the people who have a difficult time getting a job, have difficulty with their employer or losing their job. It is a salary adjustment and if you don’t vote for a salary adjustment, meeting need to be moved the evenings so Board Members can work their jobs.
Mr. Moran agreed the position is underpaid. I use four vacation weeks a year for meetings.
Ms. Winfrey asked would you support an adjustment to $25,000 or $28,000?
Mr. Moran replied affirmatively.
Mr. Harris stated regarding the Sheriff’, we always talk about the compensation package. This is our top cop and the position needs to be compensated, not the individual. I would support an increase to attract better people. We need a Sheriff to take responsibility, move the County forward and provide safety. I would support an increase, not because of the Kane County Sheriff’s salary, I would support the increase because of the work I see. For County Board, I would like to see the position adjusted up.
Mr. Ferry added it is a 24/7 job.
Mrs. Rice stated I support an increase, the skill required is powerful if we are talking about the position and not an individual deserving it because another County pays more. It is important to focus on the skills and demand of the job.
Mrs. Summers added in the Sheriff’s case it is the number of residents he is responsible for.
Mr. Ferry stated I agree with Ms. Winfrey on #18-99 and the Sheriff’s salary should be increased.
Mrs. Summers stated I agree the meetings need to be moved to nighttime. It would make it easier for constituents to attend in the evening. If they attend a meeting, they are required to take time off work. My job is not to take money away from these people to represent them. As far as the County Board adjustment, I am not comfortable with it. I feel our Sheriff is underpaid as well as the people who work under him and the Treasurer and Clerk.
Ms. Winfrey stated I want people to recognize if you move the meetings to evenings that means several evenings. It would be the same number of meetings, and now your evenings would be taken up.
Mrs. Staley-Ferry stated I would suggest Committee meetings beginning at 4:30 with a different schedule for County Board meetings.
Ms. Winfrey stated if you have children in activities you will take away that time.
Mrs. Ferry-Staley indicated she was in favor of increasing the salary for the Sheriff and a no on increasing County Board salaries.
Mr. Brooks stated at the caucus we discussed raising the salaries of the Treasurer and Clerk to $100,000 and the Sheriff to $125,000.
Mrs. Traynere asked for the County Board or are we going to stick to the language of $5,000 or the IMRF contribution?
Mr. Meyers stated you have to set a dollar amount.
Discussion took place regarding the amount to increase the County Board salary.
Ms. Winfrey stated we know we have some people who will not accept either $25,000 or $28,000.
Mr. Harris stated we are talking about setting salaries rather than salary adjustment. Is this done every two year?
Ms. Winfrey replied yes every two years we have the discussion and for the past 16 years it has been moot.
A discussion took place regarding the voting of yes, no, abstain or present.
Mr. Meyer indicated he would review the County Board rules. When you vote abstain the implication is there is a conflict.
VI. Other New Business
Mr. Dean Olson stated our broker was able to work with Constellation Energy the price is going to go down slightly and they were able to meet all the State’s Attorney’s concerns. The Resolution for natural gas still has a couple of issues. There is a difference between how electricity and natural gas gets transmitted. That is the reason they cannot address the two issues; one is an assign and the other is a termination clause and they don’t have control over that. We are working and if you approve the Resolutions, it is subject to review of the State’s Attorney’s Office. They want this signed today, because prices change quickly. Ms. Bluemer did provide copies of the green partnership at 50% or 100% by doing the green option we are able to join the partnership and get good PR from it.
VII. Public Comment
VIII. Executive Session
1. Motion to Adjourn at 9:32 am
Result: Approved [Unanimous]
Mover: Tyler Marcum, Member
Seconder: Mark Ferry, Member
Ayes: Brooks Jr., Staley-Ferry, Ferry, Harris, Marcum, Moran, Rice, Summers, Traynere, Winfrey
Next Meeting - May 17, 2018