Shields poised to pass slashed budget
Shields Township Clerk David Barkhausen (clockwise, from left), Trustee Scott Anderson, Supervisor Gale Strenger Wayne, Trustees Laura Carney and Mary Woodson, Road and Bridge Commissioner Bill Goodman and Assessor Theresia Yakes discuss the budget durin
Updated: February 15, 2013 10:30AM
In its final budget proposal, the Shields Township board of trustees has continued its history of slashing expenses, making even further cuts in the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget.
The board members, whose terms expire in May, are expected to vote Thursday, Feb. 28, on the new budget. The board trimmed another $81,047 in total expenses in the budget’s town fund, which includes the supervisor’s office, general assistance and the assessor’s office. Total town fund expenses are $839,825, down from $920,872 in the current budget.
Total income for the new fiscal year, which begins March 1, is budgeted at $659,300, putting the town fund in the red.
“That was done by design,” Township Supervisor Gail Strenger Wayne said.
The township will use cash on-hand to make up the difference, she said. At the end of the current fiscal year, the Town Fund will have cash on-hand totaling approximately $719,000, Strenger Wayne said.
The current township board went into office in 2009 pledging to reduce the reserve total.
The biggest cuts in the proposed town fund budget are in salary reductions for township staff and trustees. Elected officials’ salaries total $160,847 in the proposed budget, down from the current $226,873.
In the new budget, annual salaries of elected officials have been reduced substantially. The assessor’s annual salary was cut from $82,000 to $50,000; the supervisor, from $70,304 to $30,000; highway commissioner, from $52,000 to $30,000; and town clerk, from $14,000 to $7,780.
Trustees salaries have been eliminated entirely. Compensation for the four trustees combined totaled $10,463, or $2,713 each.
Staff salaries were increased 3 percent to a total $295,300. The township has five full-time employees, one half-time employee and a part-time/seasonal worker.
In the road and bridge fund, total income for fiscal year 2014 is budgeted at $285,394, up from the current $258,288. Expenses are budgeted at $284,985, down from the current budget of $348,785.
The road and bridge fund covers repairs and maintenance of 9 miles of roads in the township’s unincorporated areas of Knollwood and Arden Shores, which is about half of the township’s total 18 square miles. Shields Township includes all or a portion of Arden Shores, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Knollwood and North Chicago.
The public hearing on the preliminary budget, which the board approved on Jan. 17, is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Shields Township office, which is located at 906 W. Muir Ave., Lake Bluff.