Board OKs 2% raises for officials next 4 years

Board OKs 2% raises for officials next 4 years

URBANA — Without discussion, Champaign County Board members approved, 11-9, annual 2 percent raises for the next four years to the county clerk, county treasurer and sheriff.

The raises will go into effect next December, when new terms begin for each of the officeholders. Currently, all three of the officeholders — Clerk Gordy Hulten, Treasurer Dan Welch and Sheriff Dan Walsh — are Republicans, are running for re-election and are unopposed.

The raises will cost the county about $23,000 over the next four years.

With the approved raises, the county clerk and treasurer will see an increase from the current $86,639 to $93,781 on Dec. 1, 2017. The sheriff's salary will increase from $108,338 now to $117,269 on Dec. 1, 2017.

Voting for the raises were Republicans Aaron Esry, Stan Harper, John Jay, Jeff Kibler, Jim McGuire, Diane Michaels and Max Mitchell and Democrats Ralph Langenheim, James Quisenberry, Rachel Schwartz and Chris Alix. Voting against them were Democrats Lorraine Cowart, Josh Hartke, Pattsi Petrie, Michael Richards, Giraldo Rosales and Astrid Berkson, and Republicans Stan James, Gary Maxwell and Jon Schroeder.

The board also voted to maintain the salary of the part-time county board chairman at $29,274 through Nov. 30, 2016.

Board members also rejected a proposed change in the hours at the county's animal control office at 210 S. Art Bartell Road, U.

The county's director of animal control, Stephanie Joos, had suggested that the facility be closed on Saturdays and open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

But board members said they heard concerns from county residents about the proposed change, particularly about what would happen on three-day holiday weekends.

"There's been some feedback from some constituents, and I'd like to take another look," said Rantoul area Republican Stan James.

"It's clear that there is enough concern to take another look at this," said Urbana Democrat Chris Alix.

The board's committee of the whole will take up the issue again in May.

County Engineer Jeff Blue told the board that the highway department used all of its road salt during the unusually snowy winter, and that overtime costs, budgeted at $50,000, already are at $73,000.

Blue also said that six contractors have submitted bids to work on the Olympian Drive project, north of Urbana, this summer.

"The bidding climate is very good right now," Blue said. Bids are expected to be opened today at the Illinois Department of Transportation offices in Springfield.

Absent from Thursday's board meeting were board chairman Al Kurtz and Lloyd Carter, both Democrats.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on April 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

It is unfortunate that the Olympian Drive project cannot be put on hold with the money being used for county road maintenance instead.  The vision of businesses sprouting along Olympian Drive will come about when Curtis Road is lined with fast food establishments.  Until that time; Olympian Drive will just be a shortcut to the mall, and a testament to the egos of it's promoters.