2020.01.13. Meeting Minutes
GREEN GARDEN TOWNSHIP
JANUARY 13, 2020
The regular meeting was called to order by Supervisor Nolan at 7:01 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
In attendance were Trustees Wagner, Standish, Hellriegel, Commissioner Massat, Assessor Bushong,
Supervisor Nolan, and Clerk Coffey. Trustee Newton was unable to attend.
There was a motion to approve minutes from the regular meeting held December 9, 2019 as submitted by Trustee Hellriegel with a second by Trustee Standish. Voice vote: Trustee Wagner: Opposed, states he can’t say this is exactly what was said, so much verbiage on here. I don’t know if this is what was said or not. Coffey: I can send you the recordings if you like? Wagner: I don’t want the recordings either. Coffey: I transcribe right off the recordings. Wagner: I understand, I don’t know if that’s pertinent enough to be minutes of the meeting, there’s so much extra extrainience conversation, if it’s absolutely necessary, that’s fine. I don’t know if it’s necessary to transcribe the tape as meeting minutes. Coffey: The reason I started doing that was because after the thing with the discussion of the loan and the minutes, not finding it in the minutes. That’s why I did it. Wagner: I understand. Hellriegel: What would you like to see different Bill, the chit chat? Wagner: Yeah, that wasn’t pertinent to making a decision. Coffey: Would you like me to leave that out? I don’t have a problem with that. Wagner: Yes. Nolan: So your a no? And 3 yes. Motion carried 3-1.
PUBLIC COMMENTS – Jim Nolan: comments on School Board meetings (speaking as a resident). Nolan:
Urges other residents to go to, participate & visit website regarding the referendum. His understanding, high school being paid for, gets rid of doing bonds every year. If referendum passes they get their 15 million and we get a tax deduction of almost $300 for every $200,000 your house is assessed. So if your house is assessed at $400,000 it’s a deduction of $600 in taxes because of not doing bonds anymore, not an expert on this. Chris Russell: They’re moving 5.3 million dollar levy from high school and want to add a 4.3 million to operating, so a net decrease which will still give the school an extra 2 million a year to operate. Hellriegel: Will tax rate go up or down? Russell: Down, tax rate will go down whether it passes or fails. If it fails it will go down almost twice as much. $152 per $100,000. Nolan: Win, win for everybody. However, referendum will say “tax increase”. Russell: Ballot will say tax increase because increase in operating rate, they can’t put decrease in bonds on there. Video on our facebook page and presentation at Tony’s Pizza Saturday. Nolan: Beneficial to get info out there because ballot will say increase. Encourage everyone to look into.
PLANNING COMMISSION – Murday: No meeting for January, nothing on agenda for February. Asked the
Board for approval of 2 individuals to the Planning Commission. Currently sits at 5 members with Additions will be 7. Karen Murdock & Lauren Piecuch met with Don, discussed Comprehensive Plan and revised Comprehensive Plan, hoping to finalize in the spring. Both vested in the future of Township.
There was a motion to approve the appointment of Lauren Piecuch & Karen Murdock to the Planning
Commission by Trustee Wagner with a second by Trustee Hellriegel. Voice vote: Motion carried 4-0.
Murday: Next item, Planning Commission “Thank you” dinner. Asking permission to take the 4 members and himself to dinner, (Don offered to pay for spouses). Jane interested in attending (offering to cover herself). Wagner: Ok with me to include new members. Nolan: No problem with me. Board agrees to include new members. Nolan: Can we have Comprehensive Plan by May? Murday: We will endeavor to get it done as soon as we can. Bill, Russ, & I met and then things got side tracked here on town level. We will try to get together again with new members. Nolan: Did you hear anything on the Tracy property? Murday: They had a hearing, don’t know end result. Frankfort did have on agenda for last meeting, initially sharing they were not in favor, due to entrance. Frankfort would rather see industrial centers. Nor do I know what happened at County hearing regarding variance on Dralle.
HIGHWAY COMMISSIONER’S REPORT – Nothing. Bushong: Thank you for Bridge on Harlem.
ASSESSOR’S REPORT – Submitted copy of report to the Board. Bushong: Board of Review hearings
completed. Working on neighborhood equalizations. Jim, Cherie & I met with Rhonda Novak and Kathy Tezak nov. 19, 2019. Rhonda has expressed her expectations from County perspective of what she wants to see from Township level. I’m told what I need to do, accomplish, and it’s not what it used to be, more of a job now. PAMS system integrated with County constantly uploading data, downloading from County (constantly checking work). Bushong: Just making clear, as Rhonda said, it’s more of a full time or full time plus job at this point. Whatever I don’t get done, will eventually fall on County to pick up, and they will charge. More expensive for County to do than me (Assessor’s Office). Lots of high end homes, a lot of money in taxes not necessarily being received. It may take until next quad year. Their opinion – If I could get everything done and equalized we could be reaping the benefits, and more fair across the board. Other side, taxes may go down, we don’t know. Bushong: Working with Jim on next year’s budget, build in a few things, so maybe I can accomplish a few things quicker. Like field work. I can use a contractor that County uses, but comes with a greater cost than if I were to hire field staff. Report points out advantages & disadvantages. Happy to answer any questions. Wagner: Other than field measurement, what other work are you required to complete any unfinished assessor work? Bushong: A lot of data entry. I was back logged coming in, I have stacks to put in. Permits, was everything appropriately measured, assessed properly, new homes – make sure they get picked up, and put in.
Just keeping up with daily phone calls, appraisers, and attorneys. Then come fall, it’s appeal season. Now, I’m keeping up with priorities. Nolan: How it was done before, I don’t know. Bushong: We had massive growth here in the mid 2000’s, up until then it was probably somewhat manageable. Nolan: I think 2006 the levy was 15%. Bushong: Those neighborhoods are not equalized, so I’m back tracking. Wagner: Do we need to hire employees and put on weekly salary? Bushong: Pros & cons to everything, employees would require another PAMS license, another computer, and then I would need a server. Other considerations, I can’t hire somebody if I can’t work at same time. Nolan: A lot of this comes down to cost, and how much money we got to put into this. I will forward this letter from Rhonda, talks about offices and everything. I understand what County wants, financially there’s restrictions, can’t spend what we don’t have. We’re not going to raise taxes. Bushong: We’re going to have to do in stepping stones, I just want you to know it is a process. Standish: Are outside dimensions half of it? Bushong: I can get building plans, over time more technology may eliminate field work. New programs would flag something new on property. We have a lot of stuff not being assessed. Technology will aid the process. Some townships assess everyone with a finished basement, it’s up to the homeowner to notify, followed by an inspection. We have to make decisions as we go. Nolan: We all know if people did everything the way they’re supposed to, everything would be assessed right, we all know no one always pulls permits for all this stuff, part of the problem. Bushong: I don’t even have property record cards on some properties. Wagner: I think, treat as a staffing issue now, make good business decisions. Example: Part time
help entering data, if you get a call, you’ll have to call them back tomorrow. Doing at hock won’t get it done. Bushong: Jim knows some of the obstacles, it’s not as simple as that. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great idea, I’d love to do that. There are other complications we need to discuss, right now I’m running out of space. Started in my office, now, in another room, tons of paperwork, file cabinets, and challenges. Wagner: So if you get a lot of the paperwork entered, can it go into archive? Bushong: Not completely, I suppose if I had someone full time scanning everything. I have to keep copies of everything. Wagner: Are we scanning information and… Bushong: By law I have to keep property record cards, I can’t get rid of them. Once, I suppose everything is 100% in system, I would refer to those less, so could I have file cabinets here, or somewhere? Conceivably yes, but I think that’s going to be a few years from now. Every month I go to County and get a stack, input, go through, research, and review. Nolan: It would be nice if you could find someone in Township retired, part time to hire to do some of this stuff. Bushong: I had someone that was working part time for Crete, college student that knew PAMS. She came over for about 8 hours, pumped in data, it was great and gave me a chance to work on something else. I have talked to other assessors about borrowing their good part time help if I can. Crete is good because they run PAMS too. If you want to sit down one day and decide, I’m happy to go through. Nolan: I think trustees should sit down with Jane and go through this, there’s a lot of moving parts in this. We had one person for 40 years, now it’s changed, there’s a lot on here. Bushong: County
wants everything automated and wants us to keep up with it. They are making it advantageous if you have PAMS system. Nolan: Does County actually enforce laws? We have a lot of code violations they don’t. Bushong: They don’t for townships to get PAMS, other townships have to email their reports in formats and do other things that we don’t have to. Nolan: If you guys have time to see how this is done, more eyes on this to help out to get it right. Have to get base right to begin with, assessment has to be correct. Bushong: Here’s the real advantage for the Township, once it’s in there, in theory anyone should be able to, with PAMS training, walk in & do my job. A whole lot easier than what I’ve had to do.
TRUSTEE’S REPORT – Nothing
SUPERVISOR’S REPORT – Nolan: W-2’s are out and Levies filed. Bank accounts after paying bills off this
month, we are roughly at $107,000 as we go through the budgets on this. Also, Capital Fund Account started up, voted on at last meeting, signed off on check today. Park Donation Fund after we put farming in, we got about $52,000 in that account. General Assistance we got about $30,000 in there, which we don’t use at all. After today about $107,000 on that. Looks like coming in about $80,000 under budget for the year. We’ll go through that in a bit. We’re doing good on that. Off a little bit on certain line items, we’ll get into that in a bit. We get a lot of complaints about Code Violations, a lot of different things. I know we talked about Weed Ordinance last summer. Now is a good time for Trustees to start getting around & getting addresses so we can send out letters for weed ordinance, you’ll see a lot more now than ever with winter time here. There’s one on Manhattan-Monee Rd., they’re all over the place, start getting addresses & PIN #’s, so we can start letters pre-warning people that come summer we are going to start sending out notices & enforcing. I know one of the original meetings we had discussed code violations, we as a Board, send back & enforce as a Board. Start getting addresses and what we need to do for that, couple of little assignments if you don’t mind.
NEW BUSINESS – Nolan: Discussion on Assessor’s Budget. Bill I know you asked about bringing in help, if
you look at salaries, we placed a good sum there for that, probably more than Jane asked for. Double edged sword, we’re going for our 2021 budget discussions now. I would like to have those discussions on a monthly basis so we aren’t blindsided by anything, and get numbers together, better than we have in the past. Now that all the money is separated the way they should be, not just line itemed, I think managing budget will be a lot better and easier for all of us to do in general. Any questions? Basically, levying for same amount of money as last year, which was $229,000, $20,000 coming in, so about $249,000 figuring about an $80,000 carry over, because we’re under budget for this year. I think that’s being a little conservative. Looks like we have $232,000 to spend and bringing in about $249,000 for next year, mostly because we increased the Assessor’s Budget. I don’t know if that’s comfortable for everybody or if we’re running to thin on that or not. If there’s any questions or more info you might need, or something for us to have more discussions on this. Hellriegel: Two things, travel expenses and training, we’re still training at the Assessor? Nolan: The Assessor’s Office is actually an on going training, I believe they have to be recertified every so often. Bushong: They do require us to regularly keep up with our continuing education as far as assessor like classes. There’s also, and this is not my budget,
please understand it’s Jim’s budget. I haven’t had a chance to put mine together, mine won’t be any higher than this. I guarantee you actually, mine is going to come in lower. There has to be additional PAMS training. Hellriegel: Is that the thing? Always something better? Bushong: Probably PAMS training to fully utilize the system. Now that we start having a lot of data in there, and that did not come with the system. I take advantage of everything I can as far as any freebees, like County offering more training, I go all day and there’s no charge for that. Hellriegel: Bill said something about temp help here, then you almost need to train them some for them to do anything with you. Bushong: If they have no background, absolutely. I wouldn’t hire anyone not computer savvy. Very few have 1 person, let’s say they have 3 people, they have specific people do specific things. Right now I’m doing everything. Let’s say 1 handles exemptions, 1 does permits, things like that, so they only need to be trained in that one area. Hellriegel: Here again, they would all need their own computer. Bushong: Correct, if they’re working at the same time. If you have 2 user PAMS licenses, 2 people can be working concurrently no matter what they’re working on. Right now we have 1, so 1 person can do PAMS. Standish: If you hire, is it salary or hourly, can you put them as independent contractor? Bushong: Sure, a lot of Assessor Offices the field work people. The Assessor unless usually something big, most offices the Assessor is not the one going out there and measuring. They have field people that just do that, and those are temp part time people. Like Crete, their field people actually trained me. They have a teacher come in the summer & college
students that go with her, you kinda have to have 2 people. Standish: No insurance or anything like that?
Bushong: Correct. Standish: So you could figure out how many people you would have & that would be on the budget? Bushong: Yes. Standish: Then we would authorize it? Nolan: That’s why I’m trying to have these discussions, so we could get these things in line. Nolan: Question to Board is we talked about amending the Budget currently, but since we’re going to be under budget this year, do we actually need to make efforts to go back through the current budget? I guess I’m asking the Board, since we took line items out & put in separate funds do we need to amend it? Wagner: What are we under budget on? Nolan: We’re under budget, everything we’re pretty much under budget. Except for Assessor stuff, which is contracting. Asked: We spend less? Nolan: Yes, we spent less. Wagner: Not that we didn’t budget enough? Nolan: No, not that we over budgeted, we’re under budget, but we talked about amending the budget, because we took out the line items & put in separate funds, Park District, Park Donations, Capital Fund, we took those out of actual budget. Well we haven’t done nothing yet with it, but just make up funds for it & put it in to them. So, do we really need to put effort into amending that budget since
we’re going to be under budget? Focus on our new budget coming up and our Assessor Budget? Where do we put the energy into? Since we’re under budget, I guess that’s the Board’s decision, if we need to go back in and amend it? The only item we added was “Will Ride” . We haven’t gotten nothing on it yet. We’re sitting here in January, we’re gonna sit in February, and approve in March, and amend, then start new budget April 1st. Are we better spending next 3 months going through this to get ready for April 1st & go that route? Work on this for next 3 months and this is only the Township budget we’re going through. We haven’t touched Road District Budget yet. Massat: No, you don’t touch it. Nolan: If you guys need more info on this, just email me, what documents you need, or expenses were last year or so far. I can pro-rate it where we will end. Nolan: New Township (Revised 2019) books came in, I’m going to order them, there’s 8 at $27.50, $220.
OLD BUSINESS – None
PUBLIC COMMENTS – Schultz: I attended Planning & Zoning hearing in Joliet last week for Parcel on Dralle east of 88th Ave. Person that owns property spoke, 3 adjacent landowners spoke against it. In literature we all got, they sent out questionnaires, I guess to certain people as to comments on this property. They sent one to Green Garden. Reason it stood out, cause it was top of the list, Green Garden – No reply. How can that be? If they sent out, someone’s name had to be on it. Board: I would think so. Murday: The only notice I get from County are Map Amendments & Special Use permits. Variances, I get nothing. When I called about it, they said, the only thing Green Garden can do is have people show up. I wasn’t notified, I don’t know if anyone else was, only way I knew was I saw placards. Schultz: If something was sent, I would think you on Zoning ought to be getting it. Murday: I can follow up & see. Schultz: It was voted down unanimously. They were asking for 18 horses on 6 acres. Tomorrow at 10:30 final vote. Nolan: So, the Planning Commission said no, and now goes to Board. Schultz: After tomorrow County has to enforce. Nolan: County Code Enforcement? Schultz: Well, we know he won’t do nothing. Nolan: Code hasn’t done anything about last guy on Center with trailers still on property. That’s why I’m telling Board there’s code violations, County has to get involved to do things. Wagner: Always helps for us to call our County reps, voice our opinion. Massat: You can call Jim Moustis and give him your feelings. Nolan: Like Don said, they don’t have to contact us for variances. Hellriegel: Don’t they have to
notify adjacent landowners? Nolan: Signs in front is only way we get notified. Massat: Look at stable they built next to you, they didn’t notify, even adjoining landowners didn’t get nothing. Schultz: He had to have paid someone off. Massat: Could be. Schultz: Hope Assessor gets him over there.
There was a motion to adjourn the meeting by Trustee Wagner with a second by Trustee Standish. Voice vote:
Meeting adjourned at 7:59 p.m.
Susan Coffey, Clerk