10/12/2017: All members of the Election Commission were present at this meeting. In going over the month's bills, they discussed the excessive water bill. The September bill was for 30,000 gallons of water! It seems they have been paying for the utilities for the whole building, even though they are leasing only a percentage. Director Tom Bride will be talking with the County who is working with the owner. The Election Commission should get a credit back from the owner.
The budget which will be presented to the County Board has six full time employees and one vacancy. Tom asked for another full time person, but was granted .6 (24 hrs/wk). The County will give a raise of 1.04% to all unrepresented staff. Mr. Bartolo felt that this was too low for the hard-working staff and recommended a 2% raise. This was passed as a budget amendment. Tom Bride believes more money could be given the staff within the budget. The Commission's attorney says they are researching how much discretion there is. Elected officials have more discretion. The attorneys are looking into how much commissions have.
In the Director's report, Tom said that extra money from this year's budget will be used to buy supplies for upcoming elections. He has met with Dewberry at the Brandywine location and then at the current location to figure out measurements: how much space is needed for various parts. He is hoping for a vote on bids in April, 2018, with a target date for letting bids of 2/12/18. He hopes to move in by August 1, with September 1, being the drop dead date. It was suggested that bids should be approved in March instead of April to ensure enough time before the first day of voting on September 25. So far the plans include a large lobby that will be a multipurpose room. It can be used for training but also be opened up for voting.
The attorney for the Commission had spoken to the person who did the mold testing in the Brandywine building. It seems a pipe broke in the building last spring which led to the mold. Since the leak has been fixed, mold should no longer be an issue. On another item, the Elsamny case is still pending in the 3rd District Appellate Court. There will be no need for oral arguments.
Observer, LWV of Greater Peoria
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