.

Trustees Vote 4-2 to Pass 2012 Budget

The $23.3 million spending plan—which includes $8.8 million in general fund expenses—takes effect May 1.

The has a budget for fiscal year 2012.

With a vote of 4-2, village trustees approved the proposed $23.3 million spending plan Monday night. They also voted 4-2 to approve a salary plan for village employees, one that includes a one-percent pay increase and the possibility of three-percent merit increases for those not covered by either the police or public works union.

The 2012 budget includes $8.8 million for general fund costs, including the day-to-day operations of the village. It’s a balanced budget, according to Finance Manager Jeff Zoephel, thanks in part to the increase in population reported in the 2010 census.

With more than 1,300 new residents coming to Montgomery in the past two years, Zoephel expects to take in $158,000 more in state-shared taxes over the coming 12 months.

In addition to the normal village services, the budget includes $11,000 to revamp the village website, $50,000 to buy a new SUV for the , and roughly $25,000 to replace computers throughout the village government.

The budget also includes $9 million for enterprise funds, $1.2 million for special revenue funds, and $1.5 million for debt service. Zoephel intends to end the year with at least 25 percent of the budget remaining as fund balance.

Trustees Pete Heinz and Andy Kaczmarek voted against both the budget and the salary plan. Heinz did not comment on his vote, but Kaczmarek said he disagrees with one of the proposals in the budget: paying for half of a village arborist’s salary with special service area funds.

Zoephel explained that the new arborist would fill an already open position, and part of the duties involved would be to oversee contractors working on basins in several subdivisions.

Those subdivisions are taxed through special service areas, and Zoephel said that the arborist would spend about 50 percent of his time working in those parts of town.

The position pays $72,000, including benefits, and Zoephel said no SSA would be charged more than $4,000 a year.

This would be the first time Montgomery has charged an SSA for an employee’s salary, Zoephel said. And while the practice is unusual—Aurora, for example, has never used SSA funds to pay for an employee, according to Finance Director Brian Caputo—Zoephel said it is allowable.

Village Attorney Steve Andersson agreed. He said the important question, when dealing with SSA funds, is whether the work being paid for will benefit the service area. It would only be wrong to do so, he said, if SSA funds were being used for work outside the area being taxed.

And, he said, using those funds to pay for a full-time employee may actually get the village a better deal on the work than if they were to hire a contractor.

“We won’t be charged as much if we’re using our own guy,” Andersson said.

But Kaczmarek still believes that charging SSA-paying residents for employee salaries and benefits is wrong, and stands by his vote.

The new budget takes effect on May 1, and runs through April 30, 2012.

Larry K April 13, 2011 at 02:57 PM
That's a nice way to use funds that are supposed to be used for the subdivision that they come from. Seems like one of those items that needs to be pushed through before any objections from the new trustees are spoken.
Matt Walker April 13, 2011 at 06:02 PM
What areas in Montgomery are considered to be "Special Service Areas"?
Andre Salles April 13, 2011 at 06:08 PM
Matt, it's mainly subdivisions on the west side. There are SSAs in Arbor Ridge, Blackberry Crossing, Fairfield Way, Fieldstone Place, Foxmoor, Montgomery Crossing, Orchard Prairie, Balmorea and Marquis Pointe, for example. I'm certain I've missed some - village officials, feel free to jump in and let me know. Thanks!
Debbie Buchanan April 13, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Generally, all newer Montgomery neighborhoods have a Special Service Area (SSA) established that simply provides for maintenance of common areas as specified with the original approval of the development plans. However, some SSAs are active and some are dormant; some are currently levied and others are not. Complete information can be found on the Village website at http://www.ci.montgomery.il.us/Community%20Development/Special%20Service%20Areas%20(SSA%27s)/Special%20Service%20Areas.htm
Andre Salles April 13, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Thanks, Debbie!
Debbie Buchanan April 13, 2011 at 06:17 PM
The Village of Montgomery is required by law to adopt a budget by April 30th of each year. The new elected officials cannot be sworn in until the counties provide certified elections results, which we will get sometime in early May. The swearing in is currently scheduled for the second Monday in May at 7:00 p.m. at the Village Hall and the public is invited to attend.
Melissa April 13, 2011 at 06:20 PM
Why would you vote no on a 23 million dollar budget over a $4000 issue? Don't know much about Trustee Kazmareck but as a leader you have to be able to see the forest through the trees.
KEVIN BROWN April 14, 2011 at 01:42 AM
Lame duck board and lame duck village mgr passing budgets for there special interests the new board can not get sworn in soon enough.
Matt Walker April 14, 2011 at 01:43 AM
What percentage of Montgomery residents actually pay into the SSA fund?
Steve Jungermann April 14, 2011 at 02:11 AM
Kevin, I've asked you this in a prior Patch article and have yet to receive an answer. What special interest groups are trying to take over the village? Melissa, I attended the meeting where Kazmereck voted no on the budget. He gave no reason. I thought it was strange myself. If you are elected trustee, I feel if you vote no on a certain topic, you owe the public an explanation. It would have been very simple for Kazmereck to voice his disproval and for something to be done or worked out.
Matt Walker April 14, 2011 at 03:37 AM
I can't understand how paying part of the salary and benefits for a village arborist out of the SSA fund is "wrong". It's not as if the services aren't being utilized by people paying into the SSA. Is there some language in the SSA provisions that would preclude this expenditure? If you're going to say it is "wrong", shouldn't you have some statute, regulation or agreement you can point to in support of your position? Or perhaps certain board members had pet contractors waiting in the wings for some no bid contracts?
Linda Pasetti-Olson April 15, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Melissa - Paying half of an arborist's salery (and benefits ??) is more than a $4,000 expense. No trustee should 'go along, just to get along' ...
Matt Walker April 16, 2011 at 02:07 AM
A trustee should be able to articulate the reason he votes for or against a budget. If Kaczmarek thinks it is wrong, he should be able to explain why he thinks it is wrong. He should also be prepared to propose an alternative plan. Did Kaczmarek or Heinz offer any alternatives? The article doesn't mention any alternative plans offered by Kaczmarek or Heinz.
Melissa April 16, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Linda - My point is it is a small amount compared to the $23 million budget. By voting no Kazmarek voted no on everything else as well. I'm with Matt what concerns and alternatives were raised during the budget process? Also would it cost more per SSA if the work was contacted out?
Lana Cleland April 17, 2011 at 02:35 PM
$72,000 for an "arborist" who oversees outside contractors?? That is WAY too high of a salary. This old village board and administrators are out of control. Lakewood Creek has a HUGE SSA - however, NONE of the areas in this subdivision require village work on the basin - the HOA fees pay for it. So the Lakewood Creek SSA is going for OTHER subdivisions and employee salaries? I totally agree with Kazmarek and Heinz on this. It's unethical and inappropriate, laws withstanding. So where's all the Lakewood Creek SSA money? I'm talking about 750+ homes here....The village needs to be held accountable for this money. Maybe if we all stopped paying the SSA, the village would take notice. Police Department DOES NOT NEED a $50,000 SUV - the explanation for that need (couldn't get squads out in snowstorm [despite the fact that officers made it to the station]) is a joke. $11,000 to "revamp" the Website? Wow - another unnecessary expense. And $25,000 to REPLACE instead of upgrade computers? Another unnecessary expense. Here are some other unnecessary expenses: village administrator, assistant village administrator, etc. etc. Is Michelini still alive? Hard to tell anymore. The village needs to only pay for absolute necessities and get rid of deadwood, just like all of us are doing at this time! Make do with what you have at this time
Matt Walker April 17, 2011 at 07:21 PM
The article states that "part" of the arborist's duties will consist of overseeing work performed by contractors on basins in the subdivisions. Lana is correct that Lakewood Creek HOA puts aside money to take care of its own ponds. I don't believe that the village has levied a tax in Lakewood Creek to fund maintenace of Lakewood Creek as a special service area. The village website designates Lakewood Creek's SSA type as backup, which means the Lakewood Creek HOA takes care of the property, and has to meet certain standards before the Village could try to take over. Also, the SSA status in Lakewood Creek is marked as dormant, which means a tax has not been levied by the village for maintenance of the Lakewood Creek SSA. Please let me know if I'm wrong. Perhaps Lana is referring to the SA, which is the Special Assessment? All these similar terms can be confusing. There is no mention of funds from the SA going to pay for the arborist. Was there something in the village budget mandating the arborist's salary and benefits be paid with Special Assessment funds? If not, then this should be a non-issue as far as Lakewood Creek residents are concerned. If Lakewood Creek isn't paying an SSA tax, then we have no SSA funds going to pay the arborist. But I am still trying to find out what percentage of Montgomery residents pay an SSA tax. If it's less than 50%, then those residents shouldn't be expected to pay 50% of the cost of an arborist.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something