December 13th was the first meeting of the new fiscal year, and following the 2016 Elections. We welcomed 4 new members to the Board as well as offering our best to those leaving the Board.
The first order of business was to approve the Board minutes from the September 13th, October 11th, November 8th and 16th. These were approved without revision.
The zoning petitions included the renewal of a 5 year interim special use for an existing small business and an F-District to F-1 Rural residential. Both passed without objection. The latter is a simple zoning request that allows a farmhouse to be separated from the balance of the farmland.
Three items were removed form the Consent agenda for further discussion:
- #16-389 was removed by Mr. Dahl due to the contractor being previously cited by the IL Department of Labor over a prevailing wage violation. The contractor was fined for a previous violation of the prevailing wage act, but paid the fine and is now in good standing. I saw no reason to delay this project or penalize this company any further after they have already made good on the previous monetary fine. There have been no other violations reported, and this company has a strong track record of complying with prevailing wage mandates during their work with the Kane County Forest Preserve. The Board agreed with me on an 18 to 6 vote largely down party lines.
- #16-393 was tabled as additional details on this intergovernmental agreement were fleshed out.
- #16-393 through #16-397 was removed by Mr. Lewis. These were annual ordinances establishing the salaries for various Kane County Department heads. Mr. Lewis advocated against the 2.5% raise that reflects the collective bargaining agreement for Labor. He preferred a stagnant figure that would prevent a larger gap between department heads and regular staff. I disagree with this notion as it will put the County in a position where we revert back to previous years when we were losing staff to neighboring counties. In 2013 the Board was forced to provide substantial increases to these same folks in order to bring their salaries in line with neighboring counties. If we start reducing pay scales and readjusting our compensation in a negative manner we will again find ourselves back in the same position where we are suddenly finding ourselves in search of new staff as they exit for higher wages and greener pastures. As someone who has lost employees to competitors over wage issues, I've seen the loss of productivity affecting my company's bottom line. Not everyone has experienced payroll or employee management, and do not quite understand the cost of lost productivity. I prefer not to allow history to repeat itself, and learn from previous mistakes. The Board agreed with me on a 22 to 2 vote.
The Standing Committee appointments were approved on a 21 to 3 vote. I have noted these at this link on the site. The Board unanimously approved appointments to both the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Mill Creek Special Service Area Advisory Body.
The Board also elected its Vice Chairman for the coming term. With Drew Frasz declining to run for a third term, there was some speculation that I would run to replace him. Over the last few months there has been some publicized contention among members of the Board. I felt that we needed to look to someone who was universally admired and respected by all members and political leanings. John Hoscheit is without question that individual. My colleagues agreed and John won with unanimous support.