Jackson County Finance and Administration Committee met September 10.
Jackson County Finance and Administration Committee met Sept. 10.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
Call to Order (5:00 PM)
Members Present: Comparato, D. Bost, Erbes, Hunter, Larkin, Maxwell and Peterson
Also Present: John S. Rendleman, Tamiko Mueller, Laurie Nehring, Michelle Tweedy, Sharon Harris-Johnson, Lisa Jacquot, Dana Dailey, Mary Varner, Susie Kilquist, Sarah Patrick, Maureen Berkowitz, Kenton Schafer, Josh Barringer, Ed Ford
Approval of Minutes
I. 18-3638 August 16, 2018 Minutes
Peterson mentioned several corrections:
1. Hepatitis and opioid are misspelled in the Building Commission section
2. Section IV "tat" should be "that"
3. Section V "and" should be "an"
4. Section VII the word knowing is misspelled
5. Section XIV the word commented is misspelled
A motion was made by Erbes, seconded by Larkin, to approve the August 16, 2018 minutes with requested corrections. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
II. 18-3639 October meeting adjustment
The committee discussed the date of the October finance meeting that falls on Columbus Day which is a holiday when the Courthouse will be closed. The consensus of the committee is to keep the meeting at 5pm on October 8th, Columbus Day, and meet at the Jail instead of the Courthouse.
At Tweedy's request, the committee also looked at the November calendar since the Finance meeting falls on Veterans Day which is a holiday when the Courthouse will be closed. The consensus of the committee is to ask the Public Building Commission to change the date of their meeting to allow Finance to meet on November 5th.
III. 18-3640 Workers Compensation Update
The committee coordinator reported that there are several employees on light duty and everything else seems to be going well.
IV. 18-3641 Payment of Health Insurance Claims
Tweedy began discussion by reviewing the revenue and expense sheets she prepared. Larkin asked about when the money from the stop loss was transferred. The committee discussed how to borrow and pay back funding. Hunter reported that she asked Schermer for figures on what premium amounts should be set at for the county. She said that the county would probably not raise the premiums to that amount but it will be good to know what the numbers are. Tweedy reminded the committee that some retirees are eligible for the medicare supplement from the county that allows them to get up to $150 per month if they can show they have medicare.
A motion was made by Larkin, seconded by D. Bost, to authorize payment of Health Insurance Claims in the amount of $269,164.85. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
V. 18-3654 Health Insurance Update
a. Health Savings Account
b. Employer Shared Responsibility Payment
c. Benefits Buzz
A. Hunter reminded the committee that they are looking into providing a Health Savings Account (HSA) for county employees and possibly providing a $250 match for non bargaining employees and elected officials. The county received three bids that Tweedy and Hunter reviewed. The comparison is provided in the packet. Hunter also stated that Consociate did not provide info because they are recommending a complete plan change. Larkin pointed out that it is highly unusual to have a HSA with plans that have low deductibles. Hunter recommended ASI Flex, they already administer the county flex plan and there have been no issues with them. Larkin suggested asking them to waive the $250 set up fee since they already work with the county and have the employee information.
B. This is for information only. The IRS has cleared the county.
C. This is for information only.
Tweedy brought up an issue with an employee insurance start date. Rendleman stated that the risk is low and enrollment has been authorized.
Tweedy informed the committee that there is a difference between plan year and fiscal year. The committee will need to decide if the insurance changes will take place at the fiscal year or the insurance plan year. This led to a discussion of how it will affect retro activity of collective bargaining. Mueller asked about pros and cons of each way. Tweedy stated that historically it has been plan year and not fiscal year. Hunter asked that this be keep on the agenda.
A motion was made by Peterson, seconded by Erbes, to approve recommendation of ASI FLEX as the Health Savings Account company provided they withdraw the $250 set up fee. The motion carried by the following vote:
Yes: 6 - Comparato, D. Bost, Erbes, Hunter, Maxwell and Peterson
Abstain: 1 - Larkin
A motion was made by D. Bost, seconded by Erbes, to approve establishing a County Health Savings Account. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
Larkin moved and Peterson seconded to take a ten minutes break, motion carried.
VI. 18-3645 Financial Statement Review
a. Jackson County Reserves
b. Transfer of Funds
Hunter read a letter to the Treasurer regarding the transfer of funds to cover payroll. Tweedy reviewed a list of balances as of the date of the meeting. She then went on to review what funding is left after the transfer to pay payroll. Hunter reminded the committee that at the last board meeting authorization was given for Rendleman, Hunter and Tweedy to transfer funds to pay bills as needed for 45 days. Harris-Johnson reported that they are working on balancing and printing tax bills, tentatively the first due date will be October 26th, bills should be mailed by September 26th. A motion was made to extend the previous authorization until December 1, 2018. Larkin asked if the transfers were loans and what happens when funding is needed at the end of the fiscal year to cover the health insurance claims. Tweedy informed the committee that when the property tax money comes in, payments will go to the funds that were borrowed from since the county is borrowing from itself. Hunter reminded the committee that the board has to pay the claims in order to get the stop loss reimbursement. Tweedy reviewed the information she provided on the funds that the county currently has, she asked about whether the departments should be asked to curb spending until property taxes are received. Larkin inquired about whether the committee should consider a hiring freeze. Rendleman spoke to the committee about not making decisions that are not going to have an actual impact. The money will be there this is just a cash flow issue. Larkin suggested holding off on paying the borrowed money back to ensure there is funding to cover the end of the year health claims. Hunter suggested waiting to decide that when there is a better idea of where the funding could come from. Nehring asked how to ensure this issue does not come up next year. Dailey asked about holding off on reimbursing the Health Department the IMRF payments. Tweedy asked if there should be a hold on the county credit card or other expenditures. Harris-Johnson asked about the conference Barringer is going to in November, if that is a necessary expense. She would like to know what direction the board wants to take. Comparato pointed out that if a hiring or expenditure freeze is only symbolic then it is not worth doing. Rendleman suggested considering during budget time whether to transfer 100% of the money appropriated to the departments, maybe consider transferring 80%.
A motion was made by D. Bost, seconded by Erbes, to extend until December 1, 2018 of the authorization and direction for the Chair and Vice-Chair with the Accounting Coordinator to lawfully pay bills as needed from available funds. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
VII. 18-3646 Property Tax Cycle
a. 2017 Property Tax Extensions
The committee reviewed the letters regarding property tax extensions.
VIII. 18-3647 AMEREN Refund
Tweedy informed the committee that the deadline has been extended to October for transferring the $33,000 for the AMEREN payment. Larkin pointed out that the previous authorization covers this and Rendleman, Hunter and Tweedy will handle this.
IX. 18-3648 Audit Proposal Review
Tweedy prepared a comparison of the two bids for County Auditor, the committee briefly reviewed them. Comparato questioned the price differences which began a discussion of costs and whether to engage an auditor for one, two or three years. Larkin pointed out that no one was unhappy with Kerber, Eck and Braeckel, the board just wanted to do their due diligence. A motion was made by Larkin, seconded by D. Bost, to engage Kerber, Eck and Braeckel as the County Auditor for three years. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
X. 18-3649 Payment of County Monthly Claims
A motion was made by Larkin, seconded by Comparato, to authorize payment of the County monthly claims in the amount of $280,589.15. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
XI. 18-3650 Payment of Board Member Travel Expenses
A motion was made by Larkin, seconded by Comparato, to authorize payment of the Board Members' travel reimbursement in the amount of $3,378.83. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
XII. 18-3651 Budget Preparation Review/Schedule
Hunter began the discussion by reminding everyone it is time to get ready for budgeting. She believes everyone has a good grasp on the process but it wouldn't hurt for everyone to refresh themselves. She asked Tweedy to hand out the budget packets she prepared. Hunter talked about the levy and Berkowitz said she brought some numbers. Hunter reminded the committee that last year they decreased the levy and did not have to take a PTELL limitations. Tweedy informed the committee that she has received budgets from all departments except Probation. She now needs direction on personnel and health insurance. Comparato pointed out that the county did not reduce property taxes they just did not levy the full amount they could have. The committee discussed what has been done with the levy's in the past two years to try and lower the county portion of the property tax bill. Larkin advocated for setting a lower levy, reducing the amount of property tax funds the county received last year and being aggressive about it. Rendleman pointed out that the county can reduce taxes without reducing the levy. Berkowitz clarified that Larkin was suggesting the county bring in less than the $12.2 million they received in 2018. Larkin acknowledged that it will be hard and that it might not work but he believes the county should start with that and see what can be done. Rendleman reminded the committee that this will mean making hard choices, it might mean layoffs, people will be upset and contacting board members they should be prepared for that. Larkin suggested starting with a goal of 90% of the 2018 budget and see if they can make it work, they can always put the 10% back in if it doesn't work. Hunter asked that discussion continue at the next budget meeting. The consensus of the committee is to have a budget meeting on September 19th at 5pm in the County Board office.
XIII. 18-3652 Memorandum of Understanding between Ambulance and AFSCME Schafer informed the committee that the Ambulance Department is having a hard time finding paramedics, he currently has three full time openings. He spoke with the President of the AFSCME Ambulance union and believes they will agree because it is needed. This will allow Schafer to hire part time paramedics to fill spots until the full time positions can be filled. Additionally, Schafer pointed out that this will help reduce overtime, allow him to hire some previous employees who are only able to work part time which will cut down on training and there is a built in limit of six part time employees. Larkin asked if it has been reviewed by the State's Attorney's Office, it has. Rendleman asked that the wording regarding the bargaining agreement be changed since there is not currently an agreement. A motion was made by Larkin, seconded by D. Bost, to authorize and direct the Chair to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ambulance Department and AFSCME. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
XIV. 18-3653 Executive Session under 2 (c) 2 of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to discuss collective bargaining matters
The committee decided this was not needed.
Adjourn (5:53 PM)
Comparato moved and Erbes seconded to adjourn, motion carried.