Robinson, IL. (ECWd) -
It is a known fact in Illinois that a public official may only receive the compensation spelled out in a compensation setting ordinance/resolution at least 180 days prior to taking the term of office (see Section 2 of the Local Government Officer Compensation Act). No other form of compensation is authorized, whether it be monetary, in the form of benefits, discounts, or participation in insurance plans not available to the general public under the same terms and conditions are they are for those public officials (read this paper).
Once compensation is set, it remains in effect until a new compensation setting ordinance is approved. Once approved, the new ordinance governs, and the old ordinance is relegated to the dust bins of history.
Brenton "Kip" Randolph is the only Crawford County board member "participating" in the county health insurance program. He is receiving compensation, in the form of health insurance discounts, which are not listed in the county board member compensation setting ordinances, and are not available to the general public under the same conditions as he receives them.
Here is the timeline of the Crawford County Board health insurance issue:
- Prior to 2002, no health insurance was authorized for county board members, as evidenced in the May 2002 Motion
- May 2002 - a motion at the May meeting was made, and passed, to allow county board members to "qualify for health insurance in the same manner as county employees"
- 2010 Compensation Ordinance - the passage of this ordinance superseded and all previously approved compensation for county board members. It did not contain any health insurance language
- 2021 Compensation Ordinance - the passage of this ordinance superseded and all previously approved compensation for county board members. It did not contain any health insurance language
The 2002 Motion permitting participation in county employee insurance requires a county board member to "qualify" for the insurance in the "same manner as county employees."
What are those qualifications? Let's look at the Crawford County Employee Handbook to answer that question.
- Page 5 of the handbook defines "regular, full-time employees" as "employees who are not in a temporary status and who are regularly scheduled to work the County's full-time schedule of at least 30 hours each week"
- Pages 38 and 39 of the handbook state that only "full-time employees" can participate in the county health insurance program (partially paid by taxpayers as part of the employee compensation)
- Page 39 of the handbook permits retired county employees to participate at their own cost
Even if, for the sake of argument, the May 2002 Motion was still effective (which it is not) Kip Randolph would not qualify for health insurance because he is not regularly scheduled to work the County's full-time schedule of 30 hours each week and does not work 30 hours each week.
Randolph is taking advantage of the taxpayers and this county board is permitting it.
The State's Attorney was notified of this and has not responded at the time of this publication.
We suggest the county board place this on the next agenda and prohibit by a vote of the board Randolph's continued participation in this unauthorized compensation.