DeKalb County, Illinois

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DeKalb County is one of 102 counties in Illinois.

Website evaluation

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts P
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Lobbying N
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Public records
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Local taxes Y
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Transparency grading process


Main Article: Evaluation of Illinois county websites

Last rated on Jan. 17, 2012

The good

  • County board meeting information is listed[1], along with meeting minutes and agendas.[2]
  • County board members and their contact information is posted.[3]
  • Budget and local tax information is provided.[4]
  • Building and zoning information is online.[5]
  • County audits are available.[6]
  • Some county contracts are online.[7]
  • Administrative officials listed under their department.[8]
  • Information on how to make a [Illinois Freedom of Information Act|public records request] is provided on the site..[9]

The bad

  • Lobbying information is not provided.

Salaries

DeKalb County employs about 850 according to the county website. However, the website does not offer a breakdown of how the employees are divided among the various county departments. There is also no link to salary expenditures by department nor salaries drawn by elected officials in DeKalb County.

According to the 2011 proposed budget, tight budgets have forced some reduction in payroll staff across several departments. The Sheriff's Department will reduce staff by four, three will be law enforcement officials; Facility management will reduce by one; the health department has not decided on the number of positions to eliminate, but it will have to offset a deficit of $400,000.[10] The reduced staffing levels will offset raises stipulated by contracts for union employees. Elected officials will also be receiving a raise, according to the 2011 budget.

Pensions

Main article: _(Sunshine_Review)|Illinois Public Pensions

The DeKalb County website does not include information about the pension plans it offers to its employees. Nor is there information on the county website regarding its pension liability.

Illinois is facing a crisis with its publicly funded pensions. In 2010 state government was responsible for over $130 billion in pension payments, however they only had $46 billion set aside, which leaves an unfunded liability of about $85 billion.[11] Finding a way to fund that $85 billion will be the focus of the 2011 general assembly. The Pew Center for the States reported that as of 2008, Illinois is one of the worst states at contributing to its pension systems. State lawmakers will consider selling $4 billion of bonds to pay the state's annual payment on the five pension programs it runs.[12] In April, the state legislature created a two-tier system for all municipal and state employees—including teachers and state lawmakers—hired after Jan 1, 2011. Police and fire were included in an earlier draft but removed shortly before the vote. For the others, retirement was raised to 67.[13]

External links

References