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Kendall approves higher budget, lower tax levy

Updated: December 22, 2012 6:23AM

YORKVILLE — It took five hours, eight votes and an apology for the Kendall County Board to approve its $58.5 million budget for fiscal year 2013.

But in the end, the board Tuesday approved the budget with a $25.9 million general fund appropriation, and what will turn out to be a lower overall tax levy ­— the amount of money the board will ask from taxpayers.

The new budget includes $975 raises for non-union county employees, except for four employees who are department heads. The board approved $4,000 raises for Animal Control Warden Anna Payton and Supervisor of Assessments Andy Nicolletti, and $2,000 raises for Facilities Management Director Jim Smiley and Senior Planner Angela Zubko.

It was the proposed raises that held up approval of the budget for two weeks. At that time, the board could not dislodge a 5-5 vote with half the board in favor of the raises, and other half against.

Finance Committee Chairman Anne Vickery had proposed the raises, and the Finance Committee recommended them to the full board. Vickery had said that the four department heads were underpaid for their responsibility.

While other board members did not necessarily disagree, they said this was not a good time for the raises.

The difference between what the board approved Tuesday, in a 6-3 vote, was $2,000 less than the original proposal from two weeks ago. And it was only slightly different than a number of compromises made during the meeting.

At one point Tuesday, board member John Shaw demanded that fellow board member Nancy Martin apologize for intimating that he was senile.

Martin said she did not call him senile, but told Shaw, “If I hurt your feelings, I apologize.”

County Treasurer Jill Ferko told the board that revenue was so much better than anticipated in the past year that it wiped out an expected $1.2 million deficit in the 2012 budget.

Voting against the final budget were board members Robert Davidson, Jeff Wehrli and Dan Koukol.

Wehrli reiterated that he voted against the budget because he thought the new board coming in in December could reconsider raises “instead of putting them ahead of 10 union negotiations.”

The board also approved its 13 individual tax levies, including $10.6 million for the general fund. While that is about $100,000 higher than last year’s general fund levy, the overall 13 levies combined will be about $545,000 less than last year.

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