Will County budget process going surprisingly smoothly
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org October 16, 2012 12:20PM
Will County Board Chairman Jim Moustis
Updated: November 18, 2012 6:47AM
JOLIET — Something strange is happening with the Will County budget process.
This year’s process is running so smoothly, it’s taking everyone by surprise. The balanced budget has kept expenditures mostly flat, and revenues are up enough to cover rising health care costs.
As a result, on Tuesday morning there were no department heads or countywide elected officials raising a fuss and asking for more money, as there has been in many past years. Only John Cicero, executive director of the Will County Health Department, came to the meeting to talk about a $700,000 increase in health care costs that might be tough to cover.
“The challenge is there’s no new revenue to offset that,” he said.
But even Cicero said he would deal with the budget set by the board and make it work somehow.
The only cloud hovering over the county’s budget process is the fact that health insurance costs continue to rise.
“That’s the big challenge facing us,” said board Chairman Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort.
County officials said during upcoming union contract negotiations they plan to ask employees to chip in a higher percentage of their salaries to cover the rising cost of health insurance. Employees now pay only 2 percent of their salaries into the county’s self-funded insurance plan.