By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Lee Ann Crunk, the deputy assessor in Mt. Vernon Township, has been recommended by the Land, Tax, and Appointments Committee of the Jefferson County Board as the new supervisor of assessments.
Crunk will need full board approval on Monday night, and the committee will recommend a four-year appointment to the position at an annual salary of $55,000.
Crunk will replace Supervisor of Assessments Steve Lueker, whose retirement date has been moved up to Nov. 22. Lueker has served in the position for 29 years.
Crunk is also the Field-Farrington multi-township assessor, a position she will be required to relinquish, and has assisted in assessments for two other townships in the county.
Crunk is expected to begin work on Nov. 18. She is a 1989 graduate of Mt. Vernon Township High School, and resides in Dix.
During a special County Board meeting, the 2013-2014 tentative budget was approved. The action will allow the county to place the tentative budget on public review for 30 days prior to the start of the new fiscal year on Dec. 1.
Board member pay was listed on the agenda, although the Board took no action. It was suggested by member Jim Laird the pay for the vice chairman be reduced, indicating he has nothing personally against the individual in that role. It was also suggested some board members who are chronic in attending committees should receive less pay, or at the least, fined. However, State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman said by statute board members are paid the same regardless of attendance records. It was noted the vice chair gets an additional $100 per month for serving in that capacity.
In another budget-related item, it was noted there is no money allotted in next year’s budget for the incarceration of ICE/federal prisoners.
During the Services Committee, an assignment of property and casualty and workman’s compensation to agents for carriers they represent was approved, with the incumbent agent for both policies being given first choice. Diamond Brothers, the current P&C agent, will represent Beacon; and Larry Goss Insurance, the current worker’s comp agent, was assigned the Illinois Public Risk Fund.
Rob Wielt, representing Affordable Gas & Electric, requested the electric aggregation question that failed last fall be put back on referendum in March. Wielt admitted AGE did not do a good job of educating the public about the savings customers could receive by getting competitive rates from Ameren subsidiaries. The committee approved the recommendation on a 3-1 vote with James Malone voting in opposition.
The county also agreed to let AGE provide natural gas rates for next year, using a variable rate contract. The county can’t get on the new rates until May 1, 2014, although the contract has to be approved by the of this year.
During the Fiscal Committee meeting, Treasurer Dan Knox reported there is $327,000 in the General Corporate Fund and monthly claims of $64,300 to be paid. Knox noted that all September claims have been paid, and a “large portion” of demand claims have been disbursed.
“We’re okay. We’re not walking in green pastures by any means — but there is no major crunch,” Knox said.
The county has a current bank balance of a little over $2 million.