On November 14th the Kane County Board narrowly passed a balanced budget, which will once again NOT raise the tax levy on our residents. The budget included an across the Board cut in all departments and elected offices. I fully understand that these cuts were not easy for the departments, nor were they popular. But adding additional tax burden upon our already high property taxes is easy or popular for our residents.
The FY2018 budget avoids the complete depletion of our reserves with no means to replenish them. What does that mean? Simply put, the budget allows us to maintain adequate contingency funds to accommodate budget variances throughout the year as well cover the ever present unfunded mandates the good folks in Springfield love to send our way. Less that a month later, this move was proven to be prudent as Sheriff Kramer has already come back to the Judicial Public Safety Committee requesting approximately $300,000 in additional funds after the bids for inmate medical services came back higher than anticipated (Daily Herald Article Link).
Had we approved the alternative plan, the Board would have completely drained the contingency funds designed to cover those unexpected pitfalls. This is the equivalent of wiping out your savings to pay your December gas bill. What happens when January has a record cold snap? As an elected official, we do not have the luxury of only thinking about the present. We have to always consider the impact of our votes on the future, both immediate and long term.
Remember, we do not inherit this world from our parents. Rather we borrow it from our children.