Follow-Up to Monroe County Council Work Session (2014-04-22)

Monroe County Courthouse at Night
Monroe County Courthouse at Night

Last Monday I posted a preview of the April 22, 2014 Work Session of the Monroe County Council. Several actions were taken during that meeting, as well as work session discussions.

Following is a summary of what happened at the meeting.

  • The Clerk requested a new position — Training Coordinator — to be created, and classified as a PAT (Professional, Administrative, and Technical) III.
    • The Clerk requested this position in lieu of two existing positions, which will then remain vacant. In addition, one supervisory position was replaced with a non-supervisory position.
    • The Council voted 7-0 to approve this request.
  • The Plan Commission requested that the Senior Planner position be moved from 35 hours per week to 40 hours per week.
    • Arguments in favor of this request included that the Senior Planner had to participate in numerous evening meetings, leading to inadequate hours during the week to actually do the work of the office. Arguments against included that many departments would like their staff to be reclassified to 40 hours per week, and it isn’t fair to grant the request to this one department only.
    • After significant discussion, however, the County’s HR Director expressed some concern that this position, which is currently classified as FLSA non-exempt should actually be exempt, given the parameters and salary of the position.
    • The Council voted 7-0 to table the request, in order to give the HR Director time to review the FLSA exemption status of the position.
  • The Council voted 7-0 to give the Legal Department permission to re-fill the position that will be vacant upon the impending retirement of the department’s long-time administrative assistant, Peggy Good.
  • The Auditor is requesting that the Payroll Representative (the deputy Auditor responsible for payroll) be reclassified from a COMOT IV to a COMOT V.  The rationale for this request was the high turnover in a position that has been underclassified in the past.
    • The Council supported this request in principle; however, several councilors raised concerned about making this kind of change in the middle of the budget year. The Council voted to amend the request for reclassification to take place effective December 31, 2014, so that the increased salary would be voted on as part of the 2015 budget. Councilors Dietz and Jones voted no on this amendment. However, the reclassification effective December 31, 2014 was subsequently approved 7-0.
  • The Assessor gave a presentation on (a) the assessment appeals process, (b) the status of high-profile appeals, and (c) the potential financial impact on the county and other taxing units of these high-profile appeals.
    • This presentation was requested by the Council after the 2014-04-08 County Council Meeting, in which the Council learned that an appeal by the owner of the Fields apartment complex that had been allowed to languish for 5 years by the State was just settled by the Assessor, costing the County and other taxing units (including the City of Bloomington and MCCSC) over $700,000.
    • The Assessor’s presentation is available here: Appeals Process Presentation
  • The Council discussed the report recently received from the Department of Local Government Finance detailing the circuit breaker credits for Monroe County taxing units for 2014. I provided some 2013-2014 summaries, breaking the impacts down by taxing unit and by type of circuit breaker. I will do a more detailed posting on this subject in the next week.
  • The Council briefly discussed a report commissioned by the Monroe County Redevelopment Commission on a situation in the County’s Richland Economic Development Area (TIF district) in which several parcels were annexed by the City of Bloomington.
    • The City and the County developed an interlocal agreement to determine how the tax increment would be divided between the City and the County; however, after several parcel splits and renumbering, the County erred in distributing the appropriate amount of revenue between the two parties from 2009 on. The study, conducted by Financial Solutions Group (FSG), determined that the County overpaid the City by $441,191.70 during the period of 2009-2013. The County would recoup this overpayment by withholding distributions in 2014. The analysis was provided to the City, and the County is waiting for a response. No council action is required.
    • The FSG report can be found here: Binder of MONROE COUNTY (ANALYSIS OF PAY 2009-2013 RICHLAND CITY TIF REV
  • The Council briefly discussed the proposal to increase the  Juvenile County Option Income Tax (JCOIT) from 0.05% to 0.095%. This was originally discussed in the 2014-04-08 County Council Meeting.
    • The committee I created to study the issue of which juvenile expenses can and should be paid for from JCOIT revenues (Councilors Yoder, Hawk, and Jones) gave a report of their findings.
    • No action will be taken at this meeting; a public hearing and potential vote will be conducted at the regular County Council meeting on 2014-05-13.

The meeting was also broadcast on CATS TV, and can be found here: County Council 4/22 

2 thoughts on “Follow-Up to Monroe County Council Work Session (2014-04-22)

  1. In my discussion about the Juvenile County Option Income Tax rate above, I had accidentally stated that the proposal was to increase the rate from 0.05% to 0.95%. In fact, the proposal is to increase the rate from 0.05% to 0.095%. I apologize for the typo!

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