Kankakee County Executive Committee receives legislative update
Kankakee County Executive Committee met Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Here are the minutes as provided by the committee:
Executive Committee Meeting
February 28, 2017
Mr. Tripp, Mr. LaGesse, Mr. Hess, Mr. McConnell, Mr. Skutt, Mr. Snipes, Mr. Byrne, Mr. Sirois, Mr. Hildebrand, Ms. Webber, Mr. Liehr, and Mr. Wheeler
Mr. Johnson and Mr. Olthoff
Kevin Duval, Michael Roof, Delbert Skimerhorn, Sandi Cianci, Bruce Clark, John Bevis, Erich Blair, and Lori Gadbois
1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Mr. Wheeler, at 9:00 a.m. Quorum present.
2. Public Comment
4. Approval of Minutes: January 24, 2017
A motion was made by Mr. Tripp to approve the minutes, and Mr. Byrne seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.
Mr. Liehr stated that he attended the UCCI meeting in Springfield and that the current speaker has introduced approximately 2,000 shell bills, bills that have no substantive provisions that are introduced for purposes of later being amended to include the actual legislative proposals. It’s as if they don’t know which things they want to change. He stated that Governor Rauner’s income tax increase is that it includes a property tax freeze. The exact form of the freeze is in negotiation, due to the property tax in suburban counties. He stated that other bills discussed include HB 3846, which would change how county board members are elected. HB 728 would change the rules for local government attorneys who represent two or more local government units. HB 3639 would expand the home rule power for non-home rule counties and does not include taxation or fees. HB 447 would change labor agreements by requiring the publishing of the contract before the signing of the contract and having open public meeting on the contract. He stated that a lot is still in flux, and it will be another month until they know what bills are the ones that will get serious attention.
Mr. Wheeler asked if the possible property tax freeze included capturing the CPI and new construction.
Mr. Liehr stated that the exact form of the freeze is still in negotiation and has not yet been decided.
Mr. Wheeler stated that Senate Bill 59 is for local records disposal. If there is no objection and the person who wants to do the disposal doesn’t hear anything back within 30 days, it is ok to dispose of the records.
There is also Senate Bill 910, a county board apportionment plan that affects the apportionment of districts in the county, or how districts are divided. He also discussed Senate Bill 1336, after each census, Illinois Supreme Court justices will select commissioners, in effect taking redistricting out of the hands of the local area. He also discussed Senate Bill 1799, a juvenile detention screening bill that requires juveniles to be brought back for court the next day. As of now they send them to the Joliet facility. They are working on two-way closed circuit television and computerized video conferencing for juveniles to save on transportation.
7. Information Services – Kevin Duval
Update on Streaming Online of Board Meetings
Mr. Duval stated that they are doing a test recording of the meeting now to establish sound levels, and every meeting will get better. There are three cameras that are all recording and will be streaming. The recording and streaming will stop for the executive sessions. They are trying to emulate the level of sound quality that is found in the meetings the Sheriff records.
Mr. Tripp asked if there is a way to see how many people are viewing it.
Mr. Duval stated that YouTube will have archival footage as well as livestreaming that will show viewer count and YouTube will transmit the stream to Facebook, Twitter, etc. He stated that Facebook streaming would have been too complicated due to the software that is being used. He stated that in the future the goal is to update the county board website and have the livestreams viewable from there.
8. Health Department – John Bevis
Seoul Virus Update
Mr. Bevis stated that they have been dealing with the outbreak since late January. The Seoul virus is very rare, and this is considered the first outbreak in the United States. He stated that samples were taken and sent to a laboratory, but were lost, and no one knows what happened to them. He thanked Julie Boudreaux from Animal Control for her help with the testing. Since the loss of the samples, secondary samples have been taken and should be able to tell us something. He stated that there have been no additional cases in Illinois since the initial outbreak, so the number of affected individuals is holding at seven, and it appears that all seven were associated with working in or around ratteries. None of the individuals who own rats at their home were infected, so it may have something to do with the amount of rats and the cleanliness of their enclosures, as the virus is transmitted through aerosolized urine and feces.
Mr. Snipes asked if the mice from barns in the community that can get into homes can carry the virus.
Mr. Bevis stated that the Seoul virus is only from rats. The Hanta virus is from mice, and there have been no cases of Hanta virus. He stated that only certain species of mice carry the Hanta virus, so it is a smaller risk. Both viruses are reportable to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Health Department will be notified.
9. Schools – Dr. Gregg Murphy
Quarterly Report of the Regional Superintendent of Schools, of Iroquois and Kankakee
Mr. Sirois made a motion to put the report on file, and Mr. McConnell seconded it. Motion carried
with a voice vote.
10. Veterans Assistance Commission – Michael Roof
Mr. Hess made a motion to approve the report, and Mr. LaGesse seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.
Mr. Roof stated that they are waiting for the review date for their Supreme Court Certification for Veteran’s court.
Mr. Roof stated that they were approved to move to the fourth floor of the County building, and the space is almost ready. They are working on making the bathrooms ADA accessible. He stated they expect to be moved in by April 1st, and they would need to move computers and desks, as most of the small items have already been moved. They are still figuring out the moving date so not to interfere with other meetings and events.
Mr. Roof stated that the Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program through the State that would allow for a new vehicle is in progress as they are waiting for information on the award for a bus. They have received unofficial confirmation that the bus was given to them this year, but it could be 8 to 18 months before they actually get a new vehicle. Mr. Roof reviewed the Governor’s Report, the report he is required to send by statute. It outlines where and how money was spent. The money is actually helping people, and he referenced the 640 riders on the bus service to Hines VA hospital last year. He also talked about the amount of people they have been able to help with claims, and that number has risen since 2015.
Mr. Roof also spoke to the effectiveness of Veteran’s treatment court, and stated that they are actually changing lives. They did not have any graduates in 2016, but next Thursday, they will have a graduation for an individual who has been in the program for two years and had some setbacks but has now successfully completed the program. He stated the first priority of the program is to get treatment, then housing, and possibly help them to finish their education.
Mr. Wheeler asked who carries the liability insurance on the bus.
Mr. Roof stated that the VAC does.
11. Personnel/HR Issues
12. Administrative Issues
One Opening on the Kankakee Valley Airport Authority
Mr. Sirois asked what the residential boundary for membership on the airport authority is, as he understands that members have to live in a particular district.
Mr. Wheeler stated he would look into it.
Mr. LaGesse asked if Mr. Wheeler would have a conversation with the Airport Authority when he reviews the applications.
Mr. Wheeler stated that he would review it with the Airport Authority to make sure the individual has some skill sets that benefit the airport, but that in the end it is a County Board appointment.
Three Openings on the Ethics Commission
Mr. Wheeler stated that the Ethics Commission will have three commissioners, and that no more than two commissioners may belong to any one political party. The commissioners have to have a signed affidavit declaring what party, if any, they belong to. Also, no commissioner can be appointed that is related to, by blood or marriage, up to first cousin, to any elected official in the county. Two commissioners will serve for two years, and one commissioner will serve for one year. It is a random determination of who gets which tenure. He hopes to have the three people by the next committee meeting.
Mr. Sirois asked if the ethics commission is a volunteer position.
Mr. Wheeler stated that it is.
Mr. Byrne asked if the commission would oversee every employee in the county, not just elected officials.
Mr. Wheeler stated that “oversee” is not necessarily the right word. It would be a resource for all employees. The commission doesn’t have authority, but they have enough authority to recommend to a State’s Attorney or a department head that the law, county code, or policies and procedures have been violated.
Mr. Byrne stated that he has some concerns about claims being made against a person out of spite.
Mr. Wheeler stated that he has looked into other codes for ethics commissions, and they have sections for frivolous or malicious filings and a consequence for that. He stated he will bring it back to the committee after they look at the language and figure out which is the best one.
14. Other Business
This was previously discussed.
Declaration of Surplus Vehicle-County Board Chairman
Mr. Wheeler stated that he has a vehicle at his disposal and he does not need it. He is hoping to sell it and use the funds for the DHS program at the jail for the remote control door requirement. He stated it is a van with bad brakes and a dead battery.
Mr. Hess made a motion to approve the disposal of the surplus vehicle, and Mr. Sirois seconded it.
Motion carried with a voice vote.
16. Old Business/New Business
Organizations in this Story
189 East Court Street
Kankakee, IL 60901