Board Goals - Progress Report
Immediately after the swearing-in of the newly elected officials in May 2013, the Township Board adopted three goals for itself. Material progress has been made and we report on it here.
Goal #1 is to operate the Township more efficiently, specifically to reduce budget/spending by 5% without compromising programs or service levels. Based on 2012-2013 actual expenditures the 5% goal amounts to $168,000. To avoid any confusion the Township Board decided to target 5% of the budget and 5% of the spending as separate goals. The budget goal was met in the 2013-2014 budget; the Board and Highway Commissioner Kaider reduced the budget for the Road District by $237,000. Subsequently, the Township Board reduced the Town Fund budget by $69,000 for a total of $306,000, far exceeding the goal for cutting the budget.
The cost reduction/spending goal is also $168,000. During the 2013-2014 fiscal year the first savings was the elimination of a support position in the Road District office ringing up a saving including benefits of $67,000. Second, none of the elected officials is now participating in the IMRF pension program, saving between 11 and 14 percent of their salaries each year compared with where we were two years ago. For the highest paid four elected officials this amounts to $9,800 / year.
Third, for the 2013-2014 fiscal year we reduced by half the annual payment from the Road District to the Town Fund in support of Senior Transportation. This saves taxpayers $62,500 because, stay with me now, each dollar in property taxes collected by the Road District is split 50/50 with the municipalities within our Township. Therefore, in order to provide $62,500 for Senior Transportation the Road District must collect $125,000. On the other hand if the funds are collected by the Town Fund, only $62,500 is collected. Savings to the taxpayers is $62,500.
Total savings $67,000 + 9,800 + 62,500 = $139,300. Consistent with the goal, no programs or services have been cut to achieve these savings.
In addition, although it's too difficult to estimate the savings, we have consolidated the Employee Manuals for the Town Hall and Road District employees. The main effect is to help bring everyone under the same umbrella, but there is also a cost savings since the employee manual is reviewed by our attorney...one manual now, not two.
Goal #2 is to develop a strategic plan for Palatine Township with input from the people. The emphasis is on "with input from the people."
Progress to date on this goal has been technical work related to collecting input from the people. We have nearly completed the re-work of the website and technical planning for capturing input electronically.
Goal #3 is to introduce and provide additional services that will serve the broadest range of Township residents without material expense to the taxpayers.
Over the next four years there is likely to be some experimentation including some successes and some learning experiences, but the Board is committed to look for opportunities.
The first activity toward meeting this goal was Township Shredding Day, on Saturday, October 5, 2013. This event was open to all Township residents and was held without material expense to taxpayers. The next shredding day will be May 3, 2014 and all shredding will be done on site. We will be incurring some expense to rent the shredding machines for on site use, but that is what our customers desired when we did this last October.
Electronic recycling day will be May 10, 2014. Township residents may drop off unwanted electronic items. For details click here to see the recycling day article. More to come...we'll keep you advised.
If you have suggestions that would help us meet any of these three goals, please feel free to contact any or all of us. My email address is AGoes@PalatineTownship.com.