MCCD Board Member Vern Scucci’s Notes from County Board’s Finance Committee Meeting

During the Monday meeting of McHenry County Conservation District Turstees, Vern Scucci read his notes from the previous Friday’s Finance and Audit Committee’s meeting.

They are worth sharing:

Comments from County Board Members Finance Committee

May 9, 2019

Chris Christensen

  • Reserve has continued to increase and additional expense should be paid from our reserves versus increase in levy.
  • $30K for website reformatting, questioned why and seems excessive.
  • $1M, identified for MOD [modified camping where one has a real indoor bed, plus a tent, also called Glamping] Camp, what portion of this will be funded by the District or will it all of it be privately funded?
  • $1.5M for land acquisition, what projects are we considering?
  • Social Media Employee, why?
  • Executive Director Foundation Position – What are our expectations? 5 times their salary is industry standard.
  • Limited charitable dollars within McHenry County, many organizations competing for same funds.
  • He does not feel position paid by tax dollars is appropriate. Should be totally funded by Foundation.
  • What is our expectation of funds to be raised? When will they be achieved?
  • Asked for median average income for employees. Perhaps other ways to compensate employees?
  • Requested we come back with revised budget in June.

Michael Vijuk

  • Questioned wording, employee benefits, decrease vs. increase, typo.
  • Operating expense personnel 14.83 %, 1.9% increase.
  • Trustee expenses increase by 20%.
  • Employee hiring expense increase by 20%, possible new police officer.
  • Land preservation – lease expense, $35K-$65K, due to drain tile.
  • Education personnel $245K – $266K. Comp Study indicated under fair market value.
  • Landscape Architect $70K, Planning Manager $90K??
  • Natural Resource Mgmt. hourly wages $87K -$107K

Kelli Wegener

  • Why has printed media increased, if we are using more electronic media?
  • Need to increase communication to County Board about our budget.
  • Can the District change its budget cycle to track with Counties?
  • Need to insure budget gets approved before it goes into affect.

John Reinert

  • Questioned Bank Card Charges for $100K.
  • Questioned $267K for all one-time or small purchases.
  • $2.6M for land acquisitions – What and why?
  • Wanted a breakdown of current district property and how it was being used and what portion was open to the public.
  • Consolidate our Police Force with Sheriff, concerned about IMDRF cost increasing over time?

Steve Doherty

  • Reduce budget to cover our budget increase.
  • Most of his questions were asked by previous board members.

Larry Smith

  • Why an increase in our budget?
  • Why was budget for Lost Valley Visitor Center going up?
  • Does not see Glamping as part of District’s mission.
  • Most of his questions were asked by previous board members.

Michael Skala

  • Process is flawed.
  • Needs to be better communications between Boards.
  • Conservation Districts need to know what County Board is doing about taxes!

After sitting through this discussion, I was embarrassed that we as a board had not had a similar discussion before approving and distributing our budget to the County Board


MCCD Board Member Vern Scucci’s Notes from County Board’s Finance Committee Meeting — 1 Comment

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