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Finance Committee Minutes
September 4, 2013
7 p.m.




Note: These minutes are not official until approved by the
Finance Committee at a subsequent meeting. Please refer to the meeting
minutes when these minutes are approved to obtain any changes to these minutes.




The Finance Committee of the DeKalb County Board met on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in the Administration Building's Conference Room East. Chairman Stephen Reid called the meeting to order. Members present were Anthony Cvek, Charles Foster, Julia Fullerton, Misty Haji-Sheikh, Paul Stoddard and Ruth Anne Tobias. All Committee Members were present. Gary Hanson, Jim Scheffers, Peter Stefan, Joan Hanson, Greg Millburg, Margi Gilmour, Christine Johnson and Deb Beazley were also present.


It was moved by Mr. Cvek, seconded by Mr. Stoddard, and it was carried unanimously to approve the minutes from the Finance Committee meeting of August 7, 2013.


It was moved by Mrs. Haji-Sheikh, seconded by Mrs. Tobias, and it was carried unanimously to approve the agenda as presented.


Mr. Peter Stefan presented the Administrative Recommendations of the FY2014 Budget to the committee (it can be found online on the County's website and in the Finance Office) to the committee. The committee needs to forward these recommendations with a resolution to the full board for approval to place the FY2014 budget on file for public viewing. It will be on the Internet, in the County Clerk's Office, and in the City Clerk's Office in both Sandwich and Genoa. Some of the highlights of the recommendations are mentioned below.


The assessed value for the County is expected to decline by almost 8% from 1,862,000,000 to 1,715,000,000. Minimal new construction has occurred throughout the County and it is expected to only account for .0.8% of the County's assessed value at just over $11,000,000. The value of the average home is expected to decline about 8% this year following declines of 8% in 2012 and 5% in 2011. This has reduced the value of an average home from $200,000 in 2010 to $160,000 in 2013.

Property tax levies for various funds will decrease because of a combination of a declining assessed value and property tax rate limitations. This group includes Senior Service with a reduction of $20,000, Public Health with a reduction of $25,000, Veteran's Assistance with a reduction of $40,000, and collectively, the three Highway Funds with a total reduction of $150,000. The General Fund captures the increase from new construction dollars with the exception of a $55,000 increase reserved for the Mental Health Fund with approximates the 2.5% levy growth percentage.

Mr. Stoddard questioned where the 2.5% levy growth came from. Mr. Stefan advised to jump back to Attachment A in the Workbook to see that the growth comes from the 1.7% or the consumer price index plus the .8% on the new construction.
For 2014, General Fund Departments were given the challenge of not increasing their Commodity & Service expenses by more than 1.0% of their prior year budgets. With that as a base parameter, the departments then submitted their overall requests for 2014. Those requests are accepted as presented in the FY2014 Budget Workbook that is distributed to the County Board (and available to the public) via the County's web site, with the highlights and exceptions as noted in the following paragraphs and attached schedules A through D. For the first time, departments were asked to submit detailed justifications for any line-item in the Commodities & Services section that was $10,000 or more. Those detailed justifications are included in the Workbook as well as an inventory of all contracts that are awarded or administered by each Department.

Mr. Foster asked if everyone had submitted their justification of Commodities & Services. Mr. Stefan answered that not everyone but the majority had. He indicated that he believed that those who hadn't most likely reported to different boards that they had discussed their budgets with. Mr. Foster questioned who had not filed and Mr. Stefan could not recall off the top of his head who those individuals were. Mrs. Haji-Sheikh questioned what is the procedure is for those who did not submit their justifications. Mr. Stefan said that he would have to look into the procedure a bit more because like elected officials it is not mandated or monitored greatly. Mr. Cvek stated that he felt the Finance Committee has a distinct responsibility to provide financial oversight and they are within their right to request information from Elected Officials regarding contracts. Mr. Foster said that it was in fact just a request but asked if by next meeting they could at least see the list of who did not turn in their justifications of Commodities & Services.
The County is currently undergoing an RFP process for its health insurance coverage and, accordingly, renewal rates for 2014 have not yet been received. For budgeting purposes, a 10% premium increase has been factored into the 2014 budget. The County is expecting the Affordable Health Care Act to add 4% to the premiums.


The Court Security budget has seen a significant decline in annual revenues while expenses have remained steady. The 2012 audit showed a fund balance of $70,000, but if revenues and expenses in 2013 continue as they have been so far in 2013, then the December 31, 2013 balance is anticipated to be at a deficit ($75,000). Consequently, changes need to be made for 2014 and it will either take a reduction in staffing or a contribution from the General Fund. Because of the deep concern for security and recognizing the increased building space to monitor since the Courthouse Expansion opened in late 2012, cutting staff does not seem to be an option. Therefore, the 2014 budget includes a contribution of $150,000 to bring that operating budget into balance. An additional contribution is still anticipated during 2013 so that the fund will not end at a deficit. For the long term, the fee that operates this fund needs to be increased to free up General Fund monies, but that will take State Legislation.

The Committee further discussed some positions that have been requested from the Sheriff's Department that would contribute to Court Security along with the Judiciary Department requesting a bailiff position.

It was moved by Mr. Foster, seconded by Mr. Stoddard, and it was carried unanimously to forward to the Board the resolution to place the budget on file for public viewing.


It was moved by Mrs. Fullerton, seconded be Mrs. Haji-Sheikh, and it was carried unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,



Stephen Reid, Chairman



Tasha Stogsdill, Recording Secretary