The Tazewell County Board unanimously approved during Wednesday’s monthly meeting a single-election pay increase for election judges, effective with the 2020 election.

The increase is contingent on the availability of funds for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, according to Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman.

“Beginning with the 2020 election, the pay for election judge would be $165 (an increase from the current $135),” he said. “The increase would take effect then. If (the County Board) didn’t put it in the budget for 2020, then the increase wouldn’t take effect in 2020. It would be contingent upon funds in the next budget. If you don’t put it in the next budget, this resolution would still stand. That’s the rate. You’re just not budgeting the pay for it.”

In other business, the board unanimously approved replacement hires of a highway maintenance worker for the Highway Department and a deputy for the Sheriff’s Department. Also passing by unanimous consent was a resolution to approve the installation of a back-up generator to service the Tazewell County Courthouse and the McKenzie Building. The board approved the purchase of washers and dryers for the Tazewell County Justice Center by a 15-1 margin. County Board members Monica Connet, Michael Harris, Seth Mingus and Toni Minton were unable to attend the meeting.

Appointments of Harris, John Horan, and County Board member Mindy Darcy to the Position Evaluation Committee passed with unanimous consent. Harris will chair the committee. The appointment of former Tazewell County Clerk Christie Webb was more contentious, passing by a 12-4 margin.

“(Webb) did a great job as county clerk,” said County Board member Russ Crawford, who voted against Webb’s appointment. “But it’s a bad precedent to start taking former county officers and putting them on a committee. Any committee. But then worse, a committee that’s going to evaluate current employees. I can see a whole lot of precedents that you aren’t going to want.”

County Board member Sue Sundell, who voted in favor of the appointment, pointed out that as a Position Evaluation Committee member, Webb would not be evaluating employees, but rather the positions they fill. 

“It’s also my understanding that she’s being appointed to this committee because of the training she’s had in evaluating positions,” Sundell added. “I don’t see a problem with it.”

The board unanimously voted to discuss a motion to approve a settlement acceptance and release of claims for $50,000, due to pending litigation. No further details were available Wednesday night.

Earl Allen, director of the University of Illinois Extension for Fulton, Mason, Tazewell and Peoria counties, gave a presentation highlighting the institution’s 2018 year in review. He credited the board with helping Tazewell County respond to the extension’s three-part call to action: learn, serve and support.

“The County Board and people in Tazewell County have learned through the education programs we do,” said Harris. “Just serving as volunteers, there are people on the County Board who have done that and still do. And, of course, the County Board supports us fiscally and in other ways. We’re appreciative of all three roles you serve in that way.”