Kankakee County Budget Secrets?
A near $30 million in secrets
In Illinois the Kankakee County board this past Monday passed the new Budget for next year. The Vote was nearly unanimous 22-1 with only one dissenter, Karen Schmidt. Mrs.Schmidt also happens to be retiring from the board for personal reasons and had a thing or two to say about the vote.
According to Mrs.Schmidt “There were certain parts of the budget that some board members wern`t privy to”. Wait a sec here. Wern`t privy to? How do you gain a fair vote when all parties are NOT provided equal information? Just What, I wonder, was hidden from these key members and why. Mrs. Schmidt was also quoted as saying “some departments will suffer more than others”. Hmmm, makes a little more sense to me, now how about you? Some departments will be hit harder then others and certain Board Members were not provided all the info, say maybe members who may be a bit miffed over that perhaps? Members who may have had reason to Nay say the budget because of it?
Another Board member, Ann Bernard, has numerous times in the past lobbied,without success, for a line-item budget.The basic idea of which would be any particular part of the budget could be voted against while upholding a Yes for the rest.As it is now the budget only shows the bottom line and the budget totals for each department,Not what each department gets for what projects and such in particular. The Republican(1) controlled board has said that would be too Arduous a task.I didn`t know that the definition of Arduous was “a fair logical and reasoned process” I need a new dictionary it seems.
I realize that going over the full budget line for line would suck greatly, putting mildly, but it makes sense and it would lead to more fair balancing. All council members as well as the public deserve to know what money is going where to run the county they live in. This policy of secrecy leads to easily into back room deals and dirty little secrets and needs to be stopped.(1) I only mention the Republican Party because I believe it is a factor, the Republican Party in general is notoriously opposed to line-item in every level of government,even though some members don`t personaly agree with the party line most still follow along.