Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
UPDATE: Meeting postponed until Sep 1st.
Shelby County will hold a special meeting Tuesday the 30th of August at 9 a.m. in Courtroom B. (Agenda at this link)
We refer to the budget as the elected official’s contract with the people, which in Shelby County has been ignored in past years as confirmed by Chairman Coffman during a recent meeting.
The adopted budget tells the public what your estimated income and expenses are going to be. While we understand those numbers are only estimates, the law places very stringent rules on any further appropriations once the budget is adopted and violations of the budget act are considered a crime according to the statute. (See 55 ILCS 5/6-1003 and 55 ICLS 5-6-1008)
A copy of the budget subject to approval can be viewed at this link or below. We took the liberty of highlighting some very interesting line items in the budget and hope that the board members address those points before adoption.
- The budget reflects a positive balance of $2,201.00 which looks great, provided you ignore the $3,694,180.00 of Federal ARPA funds injected into the budget.
- The County Farm income is estimated at $286,000.00. If that is the case, the past management practice was not only in violation of the law but possibly the most egregious failure of fiduciary duty by elected officials we have ever seen, as the last year it was farmed the revenue was $32,000.00.
- The Sheriff’s office expense has increased by almost 1 million dollars – From $2,266,233.00 last year to $3,226,971.00 this year.
- The County has budgeted $17,000.00 for Website Operating Expense – Sounds good but there is no appropriation for the creation of the website.
- The Sheriff’s office estimates $513,501.00 for Holiday and Overtime, which we confirmed with the Sheriff is due “from being still short-staffed in Corrections and Deputies and coverage for upcoming training“. Hopefully, we won’t find legal bills paid out of that fund again.
- The Sheriff’s Food for Prisoner Expense has more than tripled from $42,000.00 last year to $135,000.00 for this coming budget year. I think we can all relate to the increased cost of food.
- The Sheriff’s Vehicle Operating Expense has also more than doubled from $70,000.00 to $156,000.00. The world should understand this one considering the record fuel prices we are facing.
- The State’s Attorney has budgeted an additional $33,000.00 for her Assistant State’s Attorney. While we don’t know if that will all go towards Jay Scott’s salary, it opens the door for a huge pay raise as it can’t be used for another Assistant SA because the County Board has never increased the approved number of Assistants beyond one. We wonder if this is so future questions asked of him will no longer result in a response of the question being above his pay grade. We note that there was zero funding budgeted for a Special Assistant State’s Attorney.
- The Highway Department has budgeted ZERO for Holiday and Overtime. That should prove interesting.
- The County Airport has budgeted ZERO Revenues? We can only wonder where the hanger rent, fuel sales, farm income, etc. are going.
- The County Jail medical costs are ZERO? Another one that will be interesting to watch next year.
- Numerous Drainage District line items that all reflect ZERO Revenue and Expenses budgeted. The county manages those funds for the districts so not sure how that is going to work out. Drainage districts are another whole problem in this state as few of them comply with even the most basic rules such as the Open Meetings Act, FOIA, budgets, levies, etc.
- The ARPA Funds Administration has gone from $20,000.00 to a whopping $100,000.00. We can only wonder who they are going to pay that money to and why it would go up five-fold.
We urge the public to attend the meeting and ask questions about the budget as we have found more eyes on budgets always lead to more accountability of the taxpayer’s money. The Board can make amendments to this budget during the meeting but once it’s adopted their hands are pretty much tied short of an emergency.Shelby FY23 Provisional Budget - 080922 (002)