McDonough County Board met Aug. 21.
Here is the minutes provided by the board:
The monthly meeting of the McDonough County Board was held at the McDonough County Courthouse on August 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. roll call resulted in 19 present and 2 absent. Sheriff Nick Petitgout made the opening declaration. Chair Dixon led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chair Dixon spoke of the hearing, purpose is to conduct a public hearing concerning the intent of the County Board to sell the Tort Judgement Bond. This hearing is required by the BINE organization, which is the Bond Issue Notification Act, to be precise. The purpose of this hearing is to receive public comment from the purpose of selling the Tort Judgement Bonds, and I not exceed $1.9 million for payment of Tort Judgement entered against the County. All persons desired to be heard will have an opportunity to present written or oral testimony concerning the issuance of the Tort Judgement Bond. This will not be a discussion, question/answer kind of thing, remember the public can make a comment or make statements if they so choose. Before we get to that point, does any County Board Member have comments regarding this issue? We have had an opportunity to talk about it in meetings, any further comments any other Board member would like to make, if none, we will move forward. Any written testimonies concerning the issuance of the Tort Judgment Bond to be read into the record to the County Clerk, none we will continue on. Any oral testimonies or any public comment concerning the proposations of the Tort Judgement Bonds. All persons desired to be heard have been given an opportunity to present an oral or written testimony concerning a Tort Judgement Bond. I will now entertain a motion that this hearing finally be adjourned.
Member Twaddle moved to adjourn the hearing, Member Hiel with a second. Member Schwerer addressed the Chair, I rise to the point of order, you did not ask for discussion on that motion. Chair Dixon then asked is there was any discussion on motion to adjourn that hearing. None. Roll call passed on 19 yeas, 0 nays and 2 absent.
Chair Dixon explained after, the next step on that issue, will be at the next, September Board Meeting, it will be presented to the Board to approve the sale of the Bond. There won’t be anything between now and then. Member Schwerer then questioned Chair Dixon, it was his understanding at the Special Finance Meeting it was indicated that we had to have two actions at this meeting, one to hire Chapman and Cutler and the other to hire First Midstate Bank for the issuance of the Bonds. Chair Dixon stated, that’s not correct, we do not have to have a resolution for the hiring of Chapman and Cutler, that was covered in the Finance Committee meeting.
Board Member McGrew moved with second by Board Member Nissen to approve the minutes of July 17, 2019. Motion carried on a voice vote.
The report from Public Defender, Nigel Graham for the month of July 2019 was received and filed as Nigel Graham has given his resignation, as he has been appointed associate judgeship.
The report of Sales Tax collected in May 2019 was received and filed.
The report of Balances and Investments from County Treasurer Graves for the month of July 2019 was received and filed.
The report of Circuit Clerk Wilson for the month of July 2019 was received and filed.
The report from County Clerk DeJaynes on Warrants Issued in Vacation for the month of July 2019 was received and filed.
Board Member Cox moved to approve the report of the Finance Committee as read with second by Board Member Nissen. Motion carried with a roll call vote of 19 yeas and 2 absent as Exhibit 9A.
Board Member Schwerer moved with second by Board Member Marcott seconding to dispense with the reading of the claims report and to approve it as approved by the Claims committee. Motion carried with a roll call vote of 19 yeas and 2 absent as Exhibit 10A.
Member Cox moved to approve the 2019-2020 Holiday Schedule, second by Member Mahr. Member Litchfield addressed the Board, stating she has spoken with a few Courthouse employees and they have asked the Board to consider having December 24, 2020 a Holiday in place of Election Day on November 3, 2020. There is no court on December 24, 2020 as well as banks being closed. Christmas Eve pasts there have not been a lot of traffic in the Courthouse, this way it would offer the County employees another day with their families. Member Litchfield also said she is aware the County Clerks office is busy with Elections, but our other offices have due dates that are busy with them as well. She wanted to compare Circuit Clerk due date days and Treasurer’s office due dates with Election. She believes the County would get a bigger “bang for our buck” to change it to December 24, 2020. Chair Dixon explained the Judges presented a Holiday Schedule with that being the case, but County Clerk DeJaynes indicated to the Finance Committee, the amount of activity with her office, she asked that we take Election Day off and work Christmas Eve. Member Hiel said, our job as Board Members is to do what is in the best interest of our County and our public, and to have the Courthouse open to business on Election Day, he firmly believes is not in the best interest of the public. He explains that it is organized chaos with same day registration, it will continue to be a problem, year in and year out on Election Days. He also explains, public safety should only be open for elections, this was not a topic we took lightly, we discussed it. Member Hiel said he gets a Chamber of Commerce poll every year on what holidays are observed by businesses of different sizes, it may be around 50% that observe Christmas Eve, someone could take a vacation day. It is not a holiday for everyone, most banks are open until 12. That was just a run down of what was discussed at the Finance Committee Meeting and as Chair of that Committee. Member Schwerer addressed the Board after by saying, not only is the County Clerk’s office open on Election Day, they also have to use the whole first floor to accommodate the 600+ people that will come through the doors from around noon until 6 or 7 in the evening. He went to explain that it would be difficult for the general public or office workers to navigate those hallways and do their jobs with that many people and the other thing, they do get Christmas Eve every other year when there is no election and because of same day registration, I don’t think it’s going away any time soon, so in order to accommodate that amount of people in an orderly process we have to they need that first floor of the Courthouse. The County Board then further discussed that they will vote again next year on the Holiday schedule when it is presented, because this is a yearly discussion.
Motion passed on a roll call vote of 14 yeas, 3 nays, 2 passes, and 2 absent.
Member Cox asked if the Board and the office holders could make this the same year in and year out, maybe look into it and see if they could be consistent. Chair Dixon said he thanks Member Cox for suggesting that and they would definitely look into it. County Clerk DeJaynes addressed the board and explained that from her perspective, the County Clerk’s office has to do same day registration. It is a polling place, so the Courthouse has to be closed or her office has to go somewhere else, if she has to go somewhere else, it must be a building we can rent for the day, it has to be closed to the public. There is only a number of people that can be in there, the voter, the election judges, the Sheriff’s Department, Attorney General and poll watchers, the public cannot, so if the Courthouse isn’t closed, we will have to find another place to do that, with secure internet connection, because the Voter’s Registration office is under a different a different internet system because of cyber security, we will have to have that in that polling place. We had 724 last year same day register, by 1:00 p.m. we had 100, so from 1 in the afternoon to 7 p.m., it is solid, we start them at the east end of the hallway and they exit at the west end. Member McGrew states that there are not many companies that pay you 13 paid vacation days on holidays, each one of these days costs the county money. Member Litchfield stated she totally agreed with Member McGrew.
County Clerk DeJaynes addressed the Board saying a couple months ago we had the resolutions where we got the tax deed, this is a resolution where we are selling a seal bid auction. It went very well this year, minimum is $122 and we did better than that on most, so what happens with this money is, Joseph Byers an associate who administers this program for the County, takes the interest off of the properties, there is a recording fee for the document to get it recorded, the rest goes to the Treasurer and she distributes it proportionately to the taxing bodies. They don’t get their full amount, if their taxes would’ve been paid, but it is proportionate to the taxing bodies.
Member Schwerer motioned to approve Resolution for Tax Deed Blandinsville Township Parcel No. 02-000- 381-00, Member McGrew seconded. Motion passed on a roll call vote of 19 yeas, 0 nays and 2 absent as Exhibit 12A
Member Marcott motioned to approve Resolution for Tax Deed Bushnell Township Parcel No. 03-000-963-05 with a second by Member Hiel. Motion carried on a roll call vote of 19 yeas, 0 nays and 2 absent as Exhibit 13A
Member Litchfield motioned to approve Resolution for Tax Deed Macomb City Quad 2 Township Parcel No. 11-200-222-00. Motion passed on a roll call vote of 19 yeas, 0 nays and 2 absent as Exhibit 14A.
Member Cox motioned to approve Resolution for Tax Deed New Salem Township Parcel No. 14-000-171-05. Motion passed on a roll call vote of 19 yeas, 0 nays and 2 absent as Exhibit 15A.
Member Erlandson motioned to approve Resolution for Tax Deed Prairie City Township Parcel No. 15-000-186- 00, Member Twaddle seconded. Motion passed on a roll call vote of 19 yeas, 0 nays and 2 absent as Exhibit 16A.
ESDA & Claims Chair Schwerer said the Director Edgar Rodriguez in in Urbana receiving additional training, he thinks it’s excellent that he goes to the training and stays abreast of all the new things for ESDA, they are very pleased with that.
Chair Dixon entertains a motion that days and miles are checked and roll call and adjourn until September 18, 2019. With no further business to discuss Member McGrew motioned to adjourn the meeting, Member Twaddle with a second. Motion carried on a voice vote, meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m. Sheriff Petitgout gave the closing declaration.