URBANA — Champaign County Board members will meet Tuesday night to revisit three issues in a committee-of-the-whole session.
Among the agenda items are pay raises for elected officials, mid-year funding requests for various county departments, and the establishment of a citizens' advisory committee to look into social services and the county's jail system.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., U.
The board also likely will act on the appointment of two Republican board members who were recommended last week in a vote of Republican precinct committeemen. The two new board members would be Jeff Kibler and Max Mitchell, who were named to replace Alan Nudo and Brad Jones, both of whom resigned last month. If Kibler and Mitchell are approved by the board, as expected, they would be seated at the full board meeting on Feb. 23.
The pay raise issue is back before the board after a preliminary discussion in January. Raises for a number of countywide elected officials, including circuit clerk, auditor, coroner, recorder and chairman of the county board, have to be decided by the May 24 meeting since all of the positions will be filled at the November general election.
Currently, the circuit clerk is paid $90,070, the auditor $86,328, the coroner $86,328, the recorder $86,328 and the county board chairman $29,274 annually. Under one option, they would receive no pay increase over the next four years. A second option suggests no raises in the first two years and 1 percent increases in the third and fourth years of their term. A third option is no raises in the first two years and 2 percent increases in the third and fourth years.
In addition to the raises for countywide officials, some Democratic members of the board last month expressed interest in raising board members' pay beyond the $60 per meeting agreed to last year.
Eight separate mid-year funding requests were forwarded by various county departments, ranging from a $10,000 request by the public defender to hire a part-time investigator, to $561,000 for the purchase and installation of a generator for the Brookens Center. Among other items requested are $38,000 for a freezer at the county morgue and $155,000 for cameras in sheriff's department squad cars.
But County Administrator Deb Busey recommended that none of the funding requests be granted because of limited revenue growth anticipated this year.
The third major item on the agenda is related to the ongoing discussion of whether to remodel the county's existing downtown Urbana jail, or to build an addition at the satellite jail in east Urbana. That issue will be addressed by panel of stakeholders, among them the sheriff, state's attorney and presiding judge. County board Democrats have suggested a parallel study by a citizens' task force that would look at social services aimed at reducing crime in the county.